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Play as Illinois Basketball today in NBA 2k17’s free “The Prelude” game demo

Welcome to the Orange Minute for Saturday, September 10.

Do you miss playing your old college basketball video games? Of course you do — everyone does. Luckily, we now have a chance to play as the Illinois Fighting Illini on the next generation on consoles. 2K Sports released a free demo for their annual basketball franchise on Friday, and it includes the Orange and Blue as one of 10 playable college teams.

Dubbed "The Prelude", this demo will give users an opportunity to get a head start in the "MyCareer" mode ahead of the game’s full release on September 20. While the college segment of the story includes 5 games; you can check out more details right here.

I had a chance to play this on Xbox One, and believe me when I say it was rather surreal to suit up as Illinois. The "State Farm Center" may have just been a generic arena, but the inclusion of actual logos, uniforms, and branding was pretty damn cool.


Illinois Fighting Illini Links

- Opposing Perspective: Illinois vs. North Carolina preview (Tar Heel Blog)

The defense is without a doubt the strong point of the Illinois football team. Defensive end Dawuane Smoot gets most of the national recognition, but Hardy Nickerson, who transferred to play for his father, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson Sr., is also a force to be reckoned with.

- Those Were The Days — North Carolina (Illini Board)

Illinois has never beaten North Carolina, who last visited Champaign in 1971. So let’s hop into the orange and blue time machine and revisit a game when Illinois beat a team from the state of North Carolina.

- 5 Things to know before Illinois vs. North Carolina (Big Ten Network)

If Illinois can run the ball well, they could have a good chance to win the game...[North Carolina] allowed 289 rushing yards last week against the Bulldogs with Nick Chubb running for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns.