(5) Illinois vs. (12) Western Kentucky
Line: Illinois -5
Illinois fell to Purdue 56-66 in the Big Ten Tournament after tying for second place in the regular season standings. The Illini ranked first in the Big Ten and third nationally in defense, allowing just 56.6 points per game. It’s the offense that gets Illinois in trouble. In their last 19 games, they have scored 70 points just once, but have scored under 40 twice.
Western Kentucky took the Sun Belt title with a 64-57 victory over South Alabama. The Hilltoppers also won the regular season with a 15-3 conference record. Western Kentucky had a terrific early out of conference season, beating both Georgia and Louisville. Western Kentucky is currently on a seven game winning streak.
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