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The “Rebound at the RAC” Game Thread: No. 22 Illinois at Rutgers

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Game preview, how to watch and join us during the action

Rutgers v Ohio State Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

No. 22 Illinois (16-8; 8-5) At Rutgers (17-8; 8-6)

How To Watch, Listen, News & Notes

Where: The RAC (8,000) in Piscataway, New Jersey (Sold Out)

Tip-off: Saturday, February 15 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

TV: BTN - Cory Provus & Jess Settles

Stream: Fox Sports App

Radio: Live Listen - Rutgers Sports Properties Radio Network (WCTC 1450 AM/WOR 710 AM/XM 195/Sirius 211) Jerry Recco & Joe Boylan; WRSU 88.7 FM - Corey Jason and Rah Shah

KenPom Rankings: Rutgers 33rd; Illinois 29th; Rutgers stayed even after Wednesday’s loss to Ohio State. Illinois dropped 2 spots after a 1 point loss to Michigan State on Tuesday.

Efficiency Rankings: Rutgers - Offense 106.9 (80th) Defense 90.0 (11th); Illinois - Offense 109.8 (46th) Defense 92.2 (26th)

KenPom Prediction: Rutgers 66 Illinois 63. Rutgers given a 61% chance to win.

OTB Guide to KenPom

Vegas Line: Rutgers -4

Series History: Illinois leads the all-time series 8-1, including a 54-51 victory on January 11 in Champaign.

SB Nation’s Illinois Site: The Champaign Room

Key Contributors

Illinois - 6’5” sophomore Ayo Donunmu (15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists); 7’0” freshman Kofi Cockburn (13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 52.2% FG); 6’2” senior Andres Feliz (11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists); 6’2” junior Trent Frazier (9.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 36.1% 3-pt FG); 6’5” sophomore Alan Griffin (8.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 40.0% 3-pt FG); Giorgi Bezhanishvili (7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists); 6’6” senior Kipper Nichols (3.7 points, 2.1 rebounds); 6’3” junior Da’Monte Williams (2.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists)

Rutgers - 6’6” sophomore Ron Harper Jr. (11.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist); 6’4” junior Geo Baker (10.1 points, 3.4 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals); 6’6” senior Akwasi Yeboah (10.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 37.9% 3-pt FG); 6’2” junior Jacob Young (8.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists); 6’10” sophomore Myles Johnson (8.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 64.2% FG); 6’7” sophomore Caleb McConnell (7.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists); 6’4” sophomore Montez Mathis (7.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals); 6’6” freshman Paul Mulcahy (3.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 55.7% FG); 6’9” senior Shaq Carter (3.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 57.8% FG)

Game Preview

We all know this is a huge game, not only for Rutgers but for Illinois too. RU has lost three of four, the Illini have lost three straight after starting Big Ten Play 8-2. Both teams remain in the top half of the conference standings, but whoever loses will be closer to falling out of it. If Rutgers wants to continue its course towards an NCAA Tournament bid, winning today is a must. The rematch between these teams should be as tough as the first meeting was. It’s going to be a battle for sure, as Rutgers looks to stay unbeaten at the RAC this season. Join us in the comment section during the game and follow us at OTB_SBNation on Twitter for live commentary.