The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

No. 20 Illinois heads to Big Apple for Jimmy V Classic clash against No. 11 Florida Atlantic

Guard%2Fforward+Luke+Good+goes+for+a+layup+against+Marquette+on+Nov.+14.
James Hoeck
Guard/forward Luke Good goes for a layup against Marquette on Nov. 14.

With a four-game win streak under its belt, No. 20 Illinois men’s basketball will be heading to Madison Square Garden in New York City for a Tuesday night showdown against No. 11 Florida Atlantic. This will be the Illini’s third top-25 opponent of the season, with an exhibition win over No. 1 Kansas and a regular season loss to No. 4 Marquette rounding out the ranked fixtures.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this event,” said head coach Brad Underwood. “To be here two years in a row is very exciting, not just to play in the Garden, not just to play Florida Atlantic who’s a Final Four team. (But) to be a part of the Jimmy V, to be a part of something bigger than the game of basketball.”

The Jimmy V Classic is an event hosted by ESPN that aims to raise money and awareness for cancer awareness while pitting four elite college basketball teams against one another. This year, in addition to Illinois versus Florida Atlantic, the event will see North Carolina take the floor against UConn. For the Illini, it is a chance to not only earn a seventh regular season win, but it is also a chance at redemption against a top-25 opponent.

A return to Madison Square Garden will bring a plethora of good memories back into the minds of the Illini, who competed at the venue just last season. Tuesday night will be the second year in a row that the program appears at this event, with Illinois pulling off a memorable upset over No. 2 Texas at the Garden.

“No doubt, this is as big a game as there is at least in the first semester,” Underwood said. “Itʼs on ESPN, itʼs promoted like crazy and youʼve got four very, very good teams participating in the Jimmy V.”

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    The showdown also has potential historical significance for Illinois, as Tuesday will serve as an opportunity for revenge against FAU. The Illini were beaten in the only clash between the two back during the 2018-19 season, where the Owls claimed a 73-71 overtime victory in Champaign.

    While Underwood’s squad will need to be on top of their game in NYC, they certainly have wind in their sails heading into the matchup. Illinois pulled off a massive 18-point drumming of Rutgers away in New Jersey previously, and a 1-0 start to Big Ten play will undoubtedly have team morale high heading into Madison Square Garden.

    Illinois (6-1 overall, 1-0 conference) will continue its away road trip on the east coast against Florida Atlantic (7-1) on Tuesday night. The game will air on ESPN for a 5:30 CT tipoff.

     

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    About the Contributors
    James Kim, Sports Editor
    My name is James Kim and I’m a senior studying English with a minor in business. This is my third year with The Daily Illini and it’s been an amazing ride so far. When I joined in fall 2021, I began as a staff writer for the sports section where I covered women’s tennis. In spring 2022, I became an assistant sports editor and started covering soccer and Illinois men’s basketball. From spring 2023 onwards I’ve been working as the sports editor! In addition to being an Illini and Real Madrid fanatic, I also love watching movies and TV shows. If you have any questions about writing for The DI, you can reach me at my email below. I-L-L!
    James Hoeck, Photo Editor
    Heyo! I am James Hoeck, a third-year undergraduate student in photography with a minor in media. I have been a part of Illini Media for two years, starting back in fall 2021. I hold the position of Photo Editor here at The Daily Illini. I also work as Photo Editor for Illini Media’s Illio Yearbook. There is a good chance you will see me out and about on campus taking photos for my personal work or for The DI and/or Illio! If you want to check out more of my work, visit my socials linked below.
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