Mike Carpenter reflects on the 2021-22 regular season which culminated in Illinois' first Big Ten Championship in 17 years. He discusses why this title run is especially sweet given all the adversity Brad Underwood's program has faced in the last 12 months, and reflects on previous title runs from years past.
It was a day that will go down in Illinois basketball history. With a little help from Nebraska, the Illini hold on for a Big Ten clinching win against Iowa. Mike Carpenter, Trevor Vallese and Isaac Ambrose react after the program's first regular season title in 17 years.
The Illini hold on to beat Penn State 60-55, but Mike Carpenter is more interested in how the rest of the season shakes out. He discusses why now is the time to accept Illinois is a pretty good but deeply flawed team, and how its inconsistency makes it difficult to envision a deep tournament run.
Illinois gets a big road win at Michigan, thanks to hot-shooting Alfonso Plummer and a huge second half for Kofi Cockburn. Mike Carpenter, Trevor Vallese and Isaac Ambrose react during the second half, as the Illini keep their Big Ten title hopes alive.
Illinois basketball misses an opportunity to stay atop the Big Ten with a heartbreaking loss to OSU. Despite the valiant comeback, Mike Carpenter discusses the problems which led to a 16 point deficit in the first place. It was a weird night at the State Farm Center, and it called for a whiskey nightcap.
Illinois basketball controls its own destiny with four winnable Big Ten games in the next two weeks. Mike Carpenter looks ahead to the schedule, and how the Michigan State win was encouraging on multiple fronts. But first, he discusses the Juwan Howard debacle and how having a "Michigan Man" puts their AD in a tough spot.
Behind Jacob Grandison's 24 and Kofi's 27, the Illini hold off Michigan State for a huge 79-74 win. Mike Carpenter and Trevor Vallese react during the second half, as Illinois withstands red-hot Tyson Walker and ice it with a late Trent Frazier three. Brad Underwood's team controls their own destiny for the Big Ten title.
A marquee matchup in Piscataway turned into a runaway victory for red-hot Rutgers, as the lethargic Illini get beat 70-59. Mike Carpenter, Trevor Vallese and Isaac Ambrose struggle to comprehend how a veteran team can play so poorly with so much on the line.
Thanks to a star turn from RJ Melendez, the Illini hold on for a 73-66 win over Northwestern. Mike Carpenter recaps the game, including the continuing struggles of some Illinois' veterans and another sloppy second half performance. A win is a win, and first place is great . . . but can this team find its mojo for the stretch run?
The Illini were outclassed by a red-hot Purdue team as the Boilers cruised to a victory in West Lafayette. Mike Carpenter, Trevor Vallese and Isaac Ambrose react during the whole bloody affair of the second half. Illinois is still tied atop the Big Ten, but faces the toughest schedule of the top 5 teams with 7 games remaining.