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Illinois vs UConn – Breakdown and Prediction

Eric Canha/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA

Illinois vs UConn: East Region – Elite 8

The Illinois Fighting Illini and the UConn Huskies will face each other in the East Region – Elite 8 at TD Garden in Boston, MA on Saturday.

Illinois has the best season in two decades

The Illinois Fighting Illini had a smooth road to the Elite 8. They started the NCAA tournament with an 85-69 win over Morehead State, then beat Duquesne 89-63, and are coming off a 72-69 win over Iowa State in the Sweet 16. Terrence Shannon Jr. has been brilliant in the tournament and dropped 29 points in the last game. He is the third-highest scorer in the nation this season, averaging 23.5 points per game. Illinois is 12th in the nation, averaging 82.5 points per game, and is ranked 54th, shooting 47.5% from the field.

UConn is the top-rated team in the nation

The UConn Huskies have had a dominant performance in the NCAA tournament so far. They are coming off an 82-52 win over San Diego State in the Sweet 16. Previously, they defeated Northwestern 75-58 and Stenson 91-52. The Huskies are tenth in the nation, allowing 39.4% shooting from the field, and 13th, allowing 63.6 points per game. Tristen Newton is the best player in the Huskies, averaging 15.3 points per game, followed by Cam Spencer with 14.5.

Betting Trends

UConn is 25-12-0 ATS for the season, 9-1-0 ATS on neutral site and 22-11-0 ATS following a win. Illinois is 21-13-3 ATS for the season, 7-1-0 ATS on neutral site and 17-10-1 following a win.

Prediction and Conclusion

The Illinois Fighting Illini have an epic season and a chance to reach the first Final Four since 2005. They played pretty well in the first three rounds and proved that they have everything they need for a deep run. However, the biggest challenge is in front of them, as the Huskies are the main favorites to win the national championship this season. UConn had a walk in the park in the first three games of the tournament and is an -8.5-point favorite going into this game. They are one of the best defensive teams in the league, and it will be tough for Illinois to be as efficient as usual. The Huskies will prove their quality once again, advancing to the Final Four by covering the spread.

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