The Illini notched a blowout win over the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday. It was a historic milestone for Illinois basketball.
The Illinois Fighting Illini basketball program is one of the most storied in all of college basketball and the Big Ten.
Five Final Four appearances, a trip to the National Championship, 30 NCAA tournament appearances and nearly 50 players in NBA history, there’s no denying the impact that the Illini have had on college basketball.
After the team’s dominant blowout over the Purdue Boilermakers in Champaign, the Illini can add another milestone to the list.
The team’s 63-37 win was the 1,800th victory in program history. They became just the 18th program in D-1 history to reach the win tally and just the third Big Ten team, joining Indiana and Purdue.
Michigan State is the closest Big Ten team to joining the club. They currently sit at 1,738 program victories. Texas and Pennsylvania will also join the club in the coming weeks.
Aside from the historic all-time milestone, Illinois also made history on the court in Sunday’s game.
Purdue’s 25 percent shooting percentage was the worst performance in school history. It was also the first time that the Illini held Purdue to under 40 points since just 13 weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when they held them to 32 points on March 7, 1942.
It was a group effort for the Illini, who had three players in double-digits. Sophomore guard Alan Griffin posted his first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The win could be a turning point in conference play, as they now return to .500 and head off to Madison for a matchup against the Wisconsin Badgers before heading home for two very winnable games against Rutgers and Northwestern.
The Illini hope to continue to add more accolades this season, as they have a solid squad quite capable of reaching March Madness.
If they do, it would be the first time the program goes dancing since 2013.