Illinois Fighting Illini Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: Brad Underwood

Team Mascot: No Mascot

Year Opened: 1963

Capacity: 15544

City / State: Champaign / Illinois

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Illinois vs Indiana

Rival Team: Indiana Hoosiers

When it comes to basketball, the Illini’s biggest rivals are the Indiana Hoosiers. The two schools are located only 153 miles apart and for years have been trying to recruit the same players creating one of the fiercest Big Ten basketball rivalries. The Illini and Hoosiers first met in 1906 when Illinois downed the Hoosiers 27-24, and the rivalry has been going strong ever since. If you want to see the Illinois crowd at a fever pitch, then make sure to be in attendance when the Hoosiers come to town.

Braggin’ Rights

Rival Team: Missouri Tigers

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Missouri Tigers have been squaring off every year since 1980 in the Braggin’ Rights series. The annual contest takes place in St. Louis and is a must see for both Illini and Tigers fans. Over the years the Illini have gotten the better of the Tigers winning 30 of the team’s 46 meetings, so be in attendance for these hardly fought contests.

Illinois Fighting Illini Stadium Guide

In Game

You’ll find an incredible atmosphere inside Assembly Hall, which is spearheaded by the Illini student section. The student section at Illinois is known as the Orange Krush and is one of the most raucous student sections in the Big Ten. Members of the Orange Krush arrive at Assembly Hall hours before the game and wait outside to get a good spot. These students bleed orange and blue and play a significant role in the great atmosphere found inside Assembly Hall.

In addition to the support of the student section, the fact everyone in attendance is wearing orange also helps create a festive feel. Make sure to wear orange when attending an Illini game, so you don’t stand out like a sore thumb.

The Illini also do an excellent job of paying tribute to past greats. Throughout Assembly Hall, you’ll see nods to the best players, coaches, and teams in Illini history. The court is named after the winningest coach in program history, Lou Henson, and hanging around the arena are banners honoring the program’s best players and teams. Check all of these banners out to remember your favorite players and teams from the past including the 1989 Final Four team, the 2005 Final Four team, and Deron Williams.

You can tell you’re somewhere that basketball matters when attending a game at Assembly Hall thanks to the incredible fan support and history found inside, so get your tickets today.

Things to check out

Lou Henson Court

In 2015, the court was dedicated to former Illini head coach Lou Henson. Henson is the winningest coach in Illini history, so take a minute to remember all his accomplishments when attending an Illini basketball game.


Hanging around the arena you’ll find banners commemorating the greatest players and teams in Illini history. The 1989 and 2005 Final Four teams are especially easy to spot, so take a minute to remember these incredible Illini teams.


Within walking distance of Assembly Hall are a bunch of bars and restaurants along Green and Wright Street. If you want to grab a bite to eat or something to drink before or after a game, then stop by Campustown.

Orange Krush

Orange Krush is the name of the student section at Illinois and is home to the loudest and most diehard fans out there. They even have their own theme song. Members of the Orange Krush lineup hours before the game to get seats, so if you’re sitting in the student section arrive early to get a good spot.

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Wear Orange

Before 2008, the Illini used to have a “Paint the Hall Orange” game where everyone wore orange, however nowadays fans wear orange to every home game. Break out your orange and show your support for the Illini when attending a game at Assembly Hall.

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Illini Cheer and Dance Squads

The Illini Cheer and Dance Squads do an excellent job of energizing the crowd on game days. Whether they’re running the flag or performing cheers, the spirit squads are always riling up the crowd at all times. Even if you aren’t in the Illini spirit when you arrive you’ll feel it as the game goes on.

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Fight Songs

  1. Illinois Loyalty

    We’re loyal to you Illinois
    We’re “Orange and Blue,” Illinois
    We’ll back you to stand
    ‘Gainst the best in the land
    For we know you have sand,
    Rah! Rah!
    So crack out the ball Illinois
    We’re backing you all Illinois
    Our team is the fame protector;
    On boys, for we expect a
    Victory from you Illinois
    Chehee, Cheha, Cheha-ha-ha
    Go Illini Go
    Chehee, Cheha, Cheha-ha-ha
    Go Illini Go
    Illinois, Illinois, Illinois
    Fling out that dear old flag of
    Orange and Blue
    Lead on your sons and daughters,
    Fighting for you;
    Like men of old, on giants
    Placing reliance, shouting defiance
    Amid the broad green plains
    That nourish our land,
    For honest labor and for learning we stand,
    And unto thee we pledge our heart and hand,
    Dear Alma Mater, Illinois

  2. Oskee Wow Wow

    Old Princeton yells her tiger
    Wisconsin her varsity
    And they give the same old Rah!
    Rah! Rah!
    At each university
    But the yell that always thrills me,
    And fills my heart with joy,
    Is the good old Oskee-wow-wow,
    That they yell at Illinois

    Oskee-wow-wow, Illinois
    Our eyes are all on you
    Oskee-wow-wow, Illinois
    Wave your Orange and Blue, Rah! Rah!
    When your team trots out before you
    Ev’ry man stand up and yell
    Back the team to gain a victory
    Oskee-wow-wow, Illinois

  3. Hail To The Orange

    Hail to the Orange.
    Hail to the Blue.
    Hail Alma Mater,
    Ever so true.
    We love no other,
    So let our motto be
    Victory, Illinois, Varsity.

  4. I-L-I-I-N-I Cheer

    At every U of I game, you will hear half the stadium shouting “I-L-I” while the other half will shout “I-N-I” in response. Join in on this fun Illini cheer to show your support for the team.




Illinois Fighting Illini Bars & Restaurants

  1. Farren’s Pub & Eatery

    Farrens Pub and Eatery

    Whether you're a student, blue-collar, white-collar, or a dry waller, Carolyn invites you to come to relax with your friends, enjoy a burger and have a beer!

    117 N Walnut St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. The Red Lion

    The Red Lion

    Typical pub grub, beer & cocktails offered in easygoing surrounds with a large wraparound bar.

    211 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  3. Joe’s Brewery

    Joes Brewery

    Campus-adjacent bar with basic pub food, live bands & DJs in a casual setting with a beer garden.

    706 S 5th St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. Legends


    Collegial sports bar with burgers & other American grub, plus an outdoor beer garden & a pool room.

    522 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  5. Murphy’s

    Murphys beer

    As the highest rated bar on campus, we know that you will enjoy your Murphy's Pub experience!

    604 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  6. Maize Mexican Grill

    Maize Mexican Grill

    We share our food. We share our home.

    60 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    mexican - $

  7. Papa Del’s Pizza

    Papa Dels Pizza

    Heaping, deep-dish pizzas, pasta & craft brews round out the menu at this stylish, spacious outpost.

    1201 S Neil St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $$

  8. Jarling’s Custard Cup

    Jarlings Custard Cup

    Decades-old frozen-dessert shop serving housemade treats in cups, cones, sundaes, shakes & floats.

    309 W Kirby Ave, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  9. Wingin Out

    Wingin Out

    Take-out & delivery chicken-wing outfit known for its many sauce flavors & boneless options.

    301 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  10. Insomnia Cookies

    Insomnia Cookies

    Bakery chain known for late-night deliveries, with some locations selling ice cream.

    502 E John St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $$

  11. Rosati’s Pizza

    Rosatis Pizza

    Excellent pizza, excellent customer service, and excellent location.

    701 S Gregory St H, Urbana, IL 61801, United States


    Bar website

    pizza - sportsbar - $$

  12. Fat Sandwich

    Fat Sandwich

    Quirky counter-serve cafe featuring hearty sandwiches with creative ingredients & irreverent names.

    502 E John St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  13. Green Street Café

    Green Street Cafe

    Everything you heard great about Green Street Cafe? They're all true!

    35 E Green St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $