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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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,
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
Oskee Wow Wow
Old Princeton yells her tiger
Wisconsin her varsity
And they give the same old 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
Our eyes are all on you
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
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.
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.