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Fighting Illini No. 1 Team in Nation?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 2, 2004 8:43PM

Might the University of Illinois men's baketball team jump to the top ranking in next week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll? ESPN's Andy Katz think so! It's sure looks likely following last night's 91-73 romp over current No. 1 Wake Forest as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. And the game wasn't really even that close. Illinois sent a loud message that they may be the best team in college basketball this year.

Last season, after some initial tension between new coach Bruce Weber and the players, Illinois ended up running off a streak of 13 consecutive wins to win the Big Ten conference title and made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Duke. In Weber's second season with the Fightin' Illini, they look to be true title contenders.