Just a hunch, but I think Michigan State and Illinois will meet again in the 4-5 game of the Big Ten tournament the second Friday in March.
Expect Illinois to get on a roll now that its schedule goes to Little Debbiesville. The Illini will be dogs in one game this entire month (at Indiana, Feb. 10) and should close the year 6-1 (or 5-2 at worst). That'll be good enough for nine conference wins and a fourth-place finish.
MSU is in line to win eight or nine Big Ten games as well. If they get to .500, they should snag an NCAA invite. Ditto for Illinois if it's 9-7 in the Big Ten. Still, whichever team loses the re-rematch at the United Center will be sweating bullets come Selection Sunday.
As for Michigan, what more can be said? The Wolverines sealed their fate in the NIT (again) with Wednesday's inexcusable home loss to Iowa. Dion Harris disappeared, and Tommy Amaker might be the next to go.