The #2 Texas Longhorns (6-0) tangle with the #16 Illinois Fighting Illini (6-2) in a top-25 showdown as part of the Jimmy V Classic presented by Corona.
Illinois is playing in the Jimmy V Classic for the fourth time, still looking for that first victory, while Texas is also appearing for the fourth time, sporting a 1-2 record at the event. Texas leads the all-time series between the two teams, 3-2.
Tuesday’s matchup tips off at 7:00 p.m. EST inside Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Texas is a four-point favorite, and the over/under total is 140.5 points.
What to Know – #16 Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois heads to the Big Apple on the heels of an opening conference loss at Maryland over the weekend. The Fighting Illini have dropped two of their last four contests, both to ranked opponents.
Illinois is ranked 18th overall in the KenPom rankings while ranked 34th in overall adjusted offensive efficiency and 12th in overall adjusted defensive efficiency.
Texas Tech transfer Terrence Shannon Jr. is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 19.8 points per game. Dain Dainja (11.1 ppg) and Coleman Hawkins (10.1 ppg) are two additional offensive weapons for the Fighting Illini.
On offense, the Illini are averaging 80.9 points per game, hitting 48% of their shots from the field and 35% from three. Defensively, Illinois allows opponents to average 60.5 points per game, shot 37.5% from the field and 30.2% from the three-point line.
What to Know – #2 Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns remain unbeaten heading into the Jimmy V Classic and will be tested for the first time outside the state of Texas. Texas has marquee victories over Arkansas, Gonzaga, and Creighton already this season.
Texas is no. 2 in the KenPom, ranked 15th in adjusted offensive efficiency and second in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Tyrese Hunter paces the Longhorns’ offensively, scoring 16.0 points per game. Marcus Carr is not far behind Hunter, tallying 15.5 points per game while serving as the team’s best deep threat nailing 37% of his 3-point field goal attempts. Texas has a balanced scoring attack, with five players averaging eight points per game or more.
Texas pours in 80.5 points per contest thanks to 48.7% shooting from inside the arc and 28.9% from three. The Longhorns’ defense surrenders 55.2 points per game while holding opponents to 36.2% shooting from the floor and 23.2% from beyond the arc.
The Pick is In
We get to find out how good this Texas team is away from Austin as it is tested again against a top-ranked team. Illinois is shooting the ball well from the floor, but it’ll be up against a Longhorns team that is efficient on offense and defense.
Texas will control the ball and the clock and make the Fighting Illini play its game and take being home the victory Tuesday night.
The Pick: #2 Texas Longhorns -4