We're only a little over a week away from the basketball season beginning. I'm not telling you that because you didn't already know it. I'm just saying it over and over to myself because I really need the basketball season to start. I've only been doing this blog for a week and a half and Illinois football is already slowly killing me.
And with the basketball season drawing near, that means preseason projections are coming out from people far smarter than I am who are also willing to do the math. Yes, Basketball Prospectus and KenPom.com have released their rankings for every college basketball team this season, including Illinois.
Here's a breakdown of how each site sees the Illini.
Basketball Prospectus has the Illinois ranked 54th and projects us to finish 9-9 in the conference. I don't know if that would be enough to get the Illini into the tournament as that would probably depend on how they perform outside the Big Ten. What I do know is I'd gladly take a 9-9 mark inside the conference considering we went 6-12 last season and there are five Illinois teams in the top 40. There's got to be some resume boosting victories in those 9 wins.
KenPom.com also has the Illini ranked 54th in the country, but it doesn't have a projection of our record on the season. Either way, the lesson is WE'RE NUMBER 54! WE'RE NUMBER 54!
Here's how each site sees the Big Ten finishing up based on their respective rankings.
5. Michigan State
8. Ohio State
88. Penn State
2. Ohio State
4. Michigan State
67. Penn State
Think it's safe to say Purdue fans like KenPom.com just a bit more than BPro. Oh, and how about Nebraska checking in at #151 and #216. Remember that time we lost at Nebraska by 23? Good times, man. Good times.