The Hawkeyes close out their three-game road trip Wednesday when they travel to Piscataway for a 6 p.m. (CT) matchup at Rutgers. The biggest comeback was 22 points, also against IL in 1987.
IL was hit hard by the flu, which ravaged most of the team, beginning before the Minnesota game last week. The Hawkeyes rank 42nd in the nation in effective field goal percentage, according to KenPom.com, and sixth in the Big Ten in that category. He went 7 for 16 from the field, shooting 43.8%. The Illini have recorded losses in their last two games, falling to Minnesota and MI in that time.
The Hawkeyes had a decisive advantage at the free throw stripe, finishing with season-highs in makes (33) and attempts (40). The Wolverines' mark was above their season average of 0.155, while the Fighting Illini's was below their season average of 0.265.
If Illinois's defense holds up and guys like Kipper Nichols and Greg Eboigbodin maintain a hot hand from the bench, the Illini as a 5.5 favorite looks like a good bet.
Offensively, the best thing IL has going is the offensive glass, where the Illini rank No. 6 in the nation in offensive rebound percentage at 37.9 percent. The Fighting Illini rank eighth in offensive rebounding percentage (37.9 percent), while Iowa ranks 133rd in defensive rebounding percentage (72.3 percent).
Iowa: There are a few different ways we can go here, obviously, but let's stick with something that had been a strength but was not one against Maryland: rebounding. Of the Hawkeyes' 14 games that accepted bets, nine have finished over the projected point total.
IL enters the game winless in the Big Ten after the first four conference games and 10-7 overall.
Points in the paint were controlled by IL, with 42 points, compared to Iowa's 38. In the most recent matchup, IL won 70-66. Iowa, meanwhile, did a terrific job of making free throws (17-22; 77.3 percent). The Hawkeyes made their last five baskets while the Illini missed their last three and had three turnovers in the last 2:17.
Iowa came out on top in Thursday's overtime game against IL, 104-97.
In their last five games, Iowa is 2-3 ATS with 5 overs. IL is also 1-7 ATS in their last eight Thursday games and the under is 23-6 in their last 29 overall. Jordan Bohannon's dagger 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining stretched the Hawkeye lead to 99-90.
IL isn't particularly tall at an average of 6-foot-5, but averages 208 pounds across the board.
Four players are averaging at least 9.6 points per game for Illini, they are: Leron Black (14.3), Michael Finke (10.6), Aaron Jordan (9.9) and Trent Frazier (9.6) per game.