Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 2/16/13
ESPN has deemed this “rivalry week” and of course all of us in sports and sports media must do what the evil empire says. Is Illini Northwestern a real rivalry? Do you feel that this Illini Northwestern game will be seriously acrimonious? No, the Hoosiers are Illinois true rival, their all time series is dead even. The Illinois Northwestern series is 129-38 in favor of UI. The Illini also lead in Evanston all time 59-24. However, the Wildcats have taken the last two, so don’t sleep on them in the Land of Lincoln “rivalry.” Northwestern enters besieged by injuries and trying to bolster their NIT resume. Illinois enters trying to establish consistency in a bi-polar season and increase their NCAA Tournament seeding. Both teams live and die by the three. Northwestern led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally in 2011-12 with an average of 9.0 3-point makes per game. The Wildcats are averaging 7.8 makes this season and are 9-2 when they make at least eight shots from behind the arch. Illinois is shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from 3-point range in its 12 games away from home, an increase over the UI’s 42.3 percent shooting from the field and 30.8 percent from 3-point range in its 14 games at Assembly Hall. D.J. Richardson has scored in double figures in each of the last seven games – his career-long streak in Big Ten play – averaging 17.1 points over that stretch (120). He is shooting 42.3 percent from 3-point range over the last seven games (22-52) after shooting 21.6 percent from behind the arc over the previous eight games (11-51). After falling to Northwestern in Champaign on Jan. 17, the Illini look to even the season series on Sunday in Evanston. The Wildcats have defeated the Illini twice in a season just three times, most recently in 1966. Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Chicago Now A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too. The post Illini Northwestern: memories, notes, news, nuggets appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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