Despite Illinois having clinched the most wins in the Big Ten this season, that doesn’t mean that they’re the Big Ten Champions.
That honor goes to the Michigan Wolverines, who claimed the crown after a blowout win over the Michigan State Spartans earlier in the week with the conference’s best winning percentage. They did play less games thanks to a pause in the schedule due to COVID-19 concerns.
Of course, that didn’t stop the Illini from throwing out a few chirps towards Michigan
“I think when it’s all said and done, we will be co-champions,” National Player of the Year candidate Ayo Dosunmu said. “I mean, look at our résumé. We lost four games, I believe. We beat Michigan, who are the champs. They didn’t play three more games. Any day in the Big Ten, anyone can be beat. I think we proved that we’re one of the best teams in the country. With this win tonight, we believe we’re Big Ten champions.”
However, Michigan head coach Juwan Howard won’t be letting Illinois get away with it.
Speaking with media members after this afternoon’s loss in East Lansing to the Spartans in their regular season finale, Howard reiterated the fact that his team is in fact the Big Ten champion and that he refuses to allow anyone to take that accomplishment away from his players.
“I don’t get into that stuff, man. You’re not gonna get any sound-bytes from me or any bulletin board (expletive deleted), I don’t care about any of that stuff,” Howard said. “I just care that we’re Big Ten champs and I’m so proud of our guys for working their butts off since June and grinding. All the unknowns, being able to pivot and sacrifice what their college life is supposed to be like.”
“But still manage to have a season and then be stars in their own role. That’s amazing what our student-athletes were able to endure and overcome and then at the same time accomplish something special, that’s the Big Ten title. So I’m not gonna let anyone — I repeat, anyone — try to ruin it for them. They earned it.”
– – Quotes via Isaiah Hole of Wolverines Wire Link – –