Illinois’ Trent Frazier (1) and Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) pressure Michigan State’s Cassius Winston (5) in Champaign, Ill., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Danzl)
Illinois’ Trent Frazier (1) and Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) pressure Michigan State’s Cassius Winston (5) in Champaign, Ill., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Danzl)|Associated Press
NCAAB

NCAAB: Greg Frank sees a Big Ten defensive battle in Madison

Illinois +9.5 @ WISCONSIN (135), 8 pm

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Illinois +9.5 @ WISCONSIN (135), 8 pm
Pick: Under 135

Nothing screams late February college basketball more than a Big 10 rock fight. Illinois has been living up to its name of the Fighting Ilini lately posting outright wins over Ohio State and Michigan State this month in league play. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the opening line on this game of 12.5 was bet down three points. That makes the Illinois side a little harder to sell, but the total seems to be a little too high. Wisconsin is the best defensive team in the Big 10 which would explain the Badgers 14-10 under record. These two teams played last month in Champaign and the total landed at 132. However, in that game Wisconsin scored 72 points, a shade over its season average of 70. With Illinois looking like its turned a corner since that game on January 23, we think the Fighting Illini hang around in this one, and the winner probably won’t go over 65 points.

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