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January 6, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) goes to the basket against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first half at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball Roundtable: Larger Surprise Michigan or Illinois?

There has been a resurgance of sorts at Michigan and Illinois as both teams are highly ranked in the AP and USA today polls. Michigan is standing still at number two, while Illinois has fallen a tad, but is still in the top 20. Who is the larger surprise Michigan or Illinois?

Ricky:As lead editor for the Writing Illini, I would say I am very surprised by the start the Illini had jumped out to this season. After firing Bruce Weber last year, I was not sure how John Groce would be in his first year as head coach of the Fighting Illini. So far, he has his team playing on a different level. Brandon Paul has stopped up as the senior leader and I think we could see a Illinois/Michigan Big Ten Championship game in the tournament.

George: Both teams have come along nicely, though Michigan was expected to be good as evidenced by their lofty preseason ranking. Illinois is easily the larger surprise, as nobody had this in mind. The Illini have a new head coach in Jim Groce, after Bruce Weber was let go, and have been a huge surprise with their wins. Now Big 10 play begins, the tough part of the schedule.


Each week, the staff at Through the Phog will react on the previous day’s games in Big 12 football, basketball and other news that happens in the conference. We are always welcoming of comments that you might have on the topics covered each week. Our current staff includes lead editor George Pike, along with staff writer, Ricky Widmer. 


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Tags: Basketball Roundtable Illinois Fighting Illini Michigan Wolverines

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