A classy tribute to the last great Illinois basketball team. 

The 2004-05 Illinois basketball team came just short of winning a national title. They're usually right at the top of the list when people talk about the best college basketball team to not win a title. They went 37-2. The two losses were against Ohio State in the last game of the regular season:

One of the most crushing losses I've experienced as a fan.

The other was against North Carolina in the National Championship game when the refs allowed Sean May to do whatever he wanted:

The also provided one of the most exciting games in NCAA Tournament history.

One of the best experiences as a fan. It was a wild season.

They also provided one of the most memorable photos in Illini history. The triple threat of Luther Head, Dee Brown, and Deron Williams in this classic pose.

Twitter @craigwchoate

Side by side:

As an Illini fan, I appreciate the fact that these guys would honor the players before them like this. This team hasn't been quite as dominant as the '05 team was but they still have a chance to do what they didn't. Cut down the nets in March.

There are only 2 regular-season games left in the season. And both of them are monster matchups. It starts tonight with a matchup against the #2 team in the country, Michigan, and wraps up on Saturday against #7 Ohio State.

The 2021 Illini find them ranked #4 in the country. The highest the program has been ranked since the days of Head, Brown, and Williams.

You can listen to the rest of the season right here on 1440 WROK.

And don't forget to sign up for our Million Dollar Bracket Challenge. It's free to join and like you might assume, you could win a million dollars.

 

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