The atmosphere will be outstanding at Scottrade Center on Saturday as No. 10 Illinois meets No. 12 Missouri in what looks to be a close contest. Tip-off will be at 6:00 EST and it will be televised on ESPN2. Missouri is one of the better teams in the country and Illinois has a chance to improve upon its 1-0 record against nationally-ranked teams. The Fighting Illini check in at 12-0 overall. Meanwhile, the Tigers have a record of 9-1. We're going with the RPI for this one, which has the Fighting Illini ranked No. 5 and above the Tigers at No. 81. Last year the Fighting Illini lost to the Tigers 78-74. Over the past four years, Illinois has gone 1-3 against Missouri.
- Illinois has a much better Kiplinger Out-of-State Ranking than Missouri (#42 vs #76).
- We win when it counts, too. Illinois has more NCAA Tournament wins over the last 10 years than Missouri (10 vs 5).
- The Big Ten has had 1 more Final Four team than the SEC over the past 5 years.
- Illinois takes less vacation, with more NCAA Tournament appearances over the last 10 years than Missouri (7 vs 5).
- Illinois is a better three-point shooting team (38.6% vs 33.1%) than Missouri this season.
- We have a history of cultivating talent. Over the past 10 years, Illinois has had more players drafted by the NBA than Missouri (6 vs 5).
- Illinois has a much higher 4-year graduation rate than Missouri according to Kiplinger (64% vs 43%).
- Even computers respect Illinois more. We have a better RPI this season than Missouri (RPI: #6 vs #83).
- Illinois players are more experienced than Missouri players (13,547 minutes played vs 12,608 minutes played).
- Diaper Dandies love us. Illinois has recruited more McDonald's All-Americans out of high school than Missouri (13 vs 5).