NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Illinois

After rallying from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat Northwestern on Thursday, Illinois is still squarely in the hunt for a double-bye in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament as it travels to face Ohio State on Sunday in a conference showdown. The Illini (19-9, 10-7 Big Ten) have been inconsistent and unpredictable this season, but also scary when at their best.

Terrence Shannon Jr. led the team with 26 points to fuel the rally against the Wildcats and keep Illinois in a four-way tie for third in the Big Ten standings entering this weekend's action. As for Ohio State (11-17, 3-14), a nightmare season continued to get worse Thursday night in a 75-71 home loss to Penn State.

The Buckeyes have dropped 14 of 15 games since a 10-3 (2-0) start. Among the losses OSU suffered in the stretch was a 69-60 defeat at Illinois on Jan. 24. Four players reached double figures in that game for Illinois, which limited the Buckeyes to just 36.7% shooting in the victory.

As the postseason approaches, there is little left for Ohio State to play for except pride as it's going to take a miraculous run through the league tournament for the Buckeyes to extend their season. But all of Illinois' postseason aspirations remain on the table, and a win over Ohio State is critical to ensuring the Illini build momentum entering the most important time of the year.

How to watch Illinois vs. Ohio State live

Date: Sunday, Feb. 26 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Value City Arena -- Columbus, Ohio
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free)

Illinois vs. Ohio State prediction, picks

Ohio State simply can't catch a break amid a stunning stretch of 14 losses in 15 games. With starting big man Zed Key done for the season due to injury, the Buckeyes are lean on depth and facing a stretch of three games against projected NCAA Tournament teams to close the regular season. The Buckeyes don't have much left to play for while Illinois enters high off the emotion of a comeback win over Northwestern. Look for the Illini to roll as the Buckeyes' woes continue. Prediction: Illinois -3

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