WCIA — Rutgers basketball has one of the best home-court advantages in the nation this season. The Scarlet Knights (15-9, 9-5) are 12-2 on home turf, including wins over No. 1 Purdue, No. 13 Michigan State and No. 16 Ohio State. On the contrary, Rutgers is just 3-7 on the road, including a 35-point loss in December to Illinois in Champaign. In Piscataway though, Jersey Mike’s Arena (formerly known as RAC) is a tough place to play.
“The fans are right above you, it’s old as hell, the acoustics are vibrant, everything resonates in there,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “The students are there on you. Players literally can’t hear me in a timeout and there’s tremendous energy. The student impact is as good there as in the country. It’s become a great home ground and Steve (Pikiell) should be commended for that and their players. It’s sold and any time you get that kind of energy in a building it can be positive for the home team.
Illinois has been the Big Ten’s best road team the past three seasons, with 18 league wins away from State Farm Center, four more than the next closest team. Overall, the Illini (18-6, 11-3) are 18-9 in that streak, including wins in eight of their last 10 Big Ten road games and 13 of the last 16.
Illinois and Rutgers whistleblowing at 6:00 p.m. CT on Big Ten Network Wednesday night.