Illinois may be undefeated but that was definitely on the line last week. The Illini ended up winning their games against UNLV and IPFW, but by a combined four points and only by some late game heroics. A win's a win, though, and Illinois will gladly take their 7-0 start. Now Illinois will face a test against Georgia Tech, a game that is winnable but could be a bit more challenging as they travel on the road to face the Yellow Jackets. The game will be the first of several non-conference tests for John Groce's team, as they also face off against Missouri and Oregon later on in December.
So when it comes to the three remaining non-conference games that could help strengthen the teams resume, Georgia Tech is by far the easiest game for Illinois to win (as well as the weakest). Illinois is trying to head back to the NCAA Tournament for a second year in a row, even with most people predicting the team to fall a bit short. In what will be a tough, beat 'em up season in the Big Ten, Illinois will benefit from every win out of conference they can get and this Georgia Tech game would be a nice enough win (if only to avoid a bad loss).