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Illinois Fighting Illini @ Penn State Nittany Lions

Current Records: Illinois 19-6, Penn State 12-14

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We've got another exciting Big Ten matchup on schedule as the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Penn State Nittany Lions are set to tip at 6:30 p.m. ET on February 21st at Rec Hall. Penn State does have the home-court advantage, but Illinois is expected to win by 7.5 points.

Even though Illinois has not done well against the Terrapins recently (they were 2-8 in their previous ten matchups), they didn't let the past get in their way on Saturday. The Fighting Illini walked away with an 85-80 victory over the Terrapins. The win made it back-to-back wins for Illinois.

Multiple players turned in solid performances to lead Illinois to victory, but perhaps none more so than Terrence Shannon Jr., who scored 27 points along with four blocks. Shannon Jr. hasn't dropped below 27 points for three straight games. Marcus Domask was another key contributor, dropping a double-double on 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Penn State's recent rough patch got a bit rougher on Saturday after their third straight loss. They suffered a grim 68-49 defeat to the Cornhuskers. The result shouldn't come as a shock considering that's the fewest points Penn State has scored all season.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the score, Penn State struggled to work together and finished the game with only six assists. That's the fewest assists they've managed all season.

The Fighting Illini have been performing well recently as they've won five of their last six matches, which provided a nice bump to their 19-6 record this season. As for the Nittany Lions, their loss dropped their record down to 12-14.

Wednesday's match is shaping up to be a scrappy contest: Illinois have been smashing the glass this season, having averaged 42.2 rebounds per game (they're ranked fifth in rebounds per game overall). It's a different story for Penn State, though, as they've been averaging only 31.5 rebounds per game. Given Illinois' sizable advantage in that area, the Nittany Lions will need to find a way to close that gap.

Illinois couldn't quite finish off the Nittany Lions in their previous matchup back in March of 2023 and fell 79-76. Can Illinois avenge their defeat or is history doomed to repeat itself? We'll find out soon enough.


Illinois is a big 7.5-point favorite against Penn State, according to the latest college basketball odds.

The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 7.5-point spread, and stayed right there.

The over/under is 157 points.

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Series History

Penn State has won 6 out of their last 10 games against Illinois.

  • Mar 09, 2023 - Penn State 79 vs. Illinois 76
  • Feb 14, 2023 - Penn State 93 vs. Illinois 81
  • Dec 10, 2022 - Penn State 74 vs. Illinois 59
  • Mar 03, 2022 - Illinois 60 vs. Penn State 55
  • Jan 19, 2021 - Illinois 79 vs. Penn State 65
  • Dec 23, 2020 - Illinois 98 vs. Penn State 81
  • Feb 18, 2020 - Illinois 62 vs. Penn State 56
  • Mar 10, 2019 - Penn State 72 vs. Illinois 56
  • Feb 23, 2019 - Penn State 83 vs. Illinois 76
  • Feb 11, 2018 - Penn State 74 vs. Illinois 52