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Big Ten Sunday Preview & Open Thread: Iowa Heads to Illinois

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Will the Illini be able to hang with the best team in the league?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know if you heard, but there is a big game going on today. No, not that one. This big game won't be deciding any championships, but it does include a surprisingly dominate team with only one league loss.

(Only) Game of the Day:

Iowa Hawkeyes at Illinois Fighting Illini (1:00PM ET - BTN)

Even Vegas thinks that the Hawkeyes will win this game by double-digits. Other than a slight stumble at Maryland, Iowa has been pretty much unstoppable in conference play. This is still a conference road game, and Illinois surprised Purdue earlier this year, but it appears that a mighty stumble from Iowa and a monumental effort from Illinois will be required for an Illini victory to materialize.

John Groce's team has had a rough year filled with injuries and other unusual issues (like playing home games 90 minutes away from home). However, there has been one exceptional bright spot for this group. Malcolm Hill leads the Big Ten in scoring and dropped 32 in the 3OT victory over Rutgers on Wednesday. On the other side, Iowa has Jarrod Uthoff, who may just be the best player in the conference. Illinois has talent outside of Hill, but they just cannot match the experience and refinement of Uthoff's supporting cast. Nothing is ever certain in college basketball, just ask Indiana, but an Illinois upset would be the biggest of the season so far.