CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In the past, the Michigan State Spartans have had their issues with the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Coming into Monday’s tilt, the Spartans had just three wins over Illinois over the past 10 seasons. Last year, the teams met just once, with the Illini coming away with the 73-70 victory on their home floor.
Monday night had a different narrative, as the Spartans used a strong start to the second half to break away from Illinois as the game wound down. Michigan State shot better than 68% as a team in Champaign, and picked up their second straight win with an 87-74 decision over the Fighting Illini.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Through seven games, the race for the Big Ten title is heating up.
At the top, you have the Purdue Boilermakers and the Ohio State Buckeyes, both of whom are 7-0 thus far. The Boilermakers received a first-place vote in the latest AP Top 25 rankings, while the Buckeyes are knocking on the door of the top 10.
In between the two, you have the sixth-ranked Michigan State Spartans, who are 5-2 in conference play and are looking to pick up their second straight win on Monday night when they face the Illinois Fighting Illini on the road. After a tough stretch of three games, the Spartans bounced back last time out for a big win to keep pace in the Big Ten race.
As for Illinois, they are trending in the opposite direction. They have lost five straight games overall, and are dead last in the conference at 0-7. Illinois is the only team in the Big Ten without a conference win, and they would like to change that on Monday night.