With it being the offseason and Cubs news is slim to none, I thought I would take the time to talk about my other favorite team. The Illinois Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball team. This years team is one of the school’s deepest ever and has legit national championship hopes. Entering the season ranked 5 in the AP poll, the Illini scheduled some weak games for the first 3. It came as no surprise then when all three games were registered in the win column. However, this weekend, the test was a team that at one time last year was ranked # 2 in the nation, a team that was 27-2, the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

I have to admit, I had my aprehensions about this game. I was afraid that Illinois would come out flat because of the less than challenging beginning to the season. I also worried that they would be looking ahead to the next game against the # 1 team in the nation. Instead, my boys did nothing but come out and shot the lights out on Gonzaga. At one point, they led by as many as 38 points. The looked better than Gonzaga in every aspect of the game. Dee Brown and Deron Williams, who could be the best backcourt in the nation combined for 37 points. I can’t wait till Wednesday when we take on the # 1 Wake Forest team at home. Maybe then it will be our chance to show the nation.

Last Game: Illinois 89 – Gonzaga 72
Next Game: Wednesday vs. Wake Forest
Season Record: 4-0

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail