Happy Birthday, Coaches Spring and Rayfield!

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

20-win seasons

The Illini men’s basketball team has won 21 games thus far, marking the 30th time in Illinois’ 108-year history that’s happened. It’s the 25th time in the last 34 seasons the Illini have had at least 20 victories. Trivia about Illinois’ 20-win seasons:
— Big Ten titles with at least 20 victories … 10
— Big Ten second-place finishes with at least 20 wins … 6
— Lowest Big Ten finish with at least 20 victories … T-6th in 1980 (22-13)
— NIT appearances in 20-victory seasons … 2 (1980 and 2010)
— Decade with the most 20-win seasons … 9 from 1980 to ’89, 9 from 2000 to ’09
— Coach with the most 20-victory seasons … 11 by Lou Henson
­— Coaches with the fewest 20-win seasons … 1 (20-6 in 1908 by Fletcher Lane)
­— Illinois had 167 victories during a six-season span (2001-06)
— Consecutive seasons with 20 wins … 9 (1983-1991)
— Longest drought without 20 wins … 41 years (1909-1948)
— NCAA tournament appearances when winning 20 games … 25
 

              All        Big Ten
Year       W-L        W-L        Place     Postseason
1908       20-6       6-5          3rd
1949       21-4       10-2       1st           NCAA
1951       22-5       13-1       1st           NCAA
1952       22-4       12-2       1st           NCAA
1963       20-6       11-3       T-1st       NCAA
1980       22-13     8-10       T-6th       NIT
1981       21-8       12-6       3rd           NCAA
1983       21-11     11-7       T-2nd      NCAA
1984       26-5       15-3       T-1st       NCAA
1985       26-9       12-6       2nd          NCAA
1986       22-10     11-7       T-4th       NCAA
1987       23-8       13-5       4th           NCAA
1988       23-10     12-6       T-3rd       NCAA
1989       31-5       14-4       2nd          NCAA
1990       21-8       11-7       T-4th       NCAA
1991       21-10     11-7       T-3rd       ---
1997       22-10     11-7       T-4th       NCAA
1998       23-10     13-3       T-1st       NCAA
2000       22-10     11-5       4th           NCAA
2001       27-8       13-3       T-1st       NCAA
2002       26-9       11-5       T-1st       NCAA
2003       25-7       11-5       2nd          NCAA
2004       26-7       13-3       1st           NCAA
2005       37-2       15-1       1st           NCAA
2006       26-7       11-5       T-2nd      NCAA
2007       23-12     9-7          T-4th       NCAA
2009       24-10     11-7       T-2nd      NCAA
2010       21-15     10-8       5th           NIT
2011       20-14     9-9          T-4th       NCAA
2013       21-10     *8-9         Sixth         TBD

* — finish season Sunday at Ohio State

Illini Birthdays
Sunday: Sam Carson III, football (27)
Monday: Justin Spring, gymnastics (29)
Tuesday: Alexis Burke, basketball (21)
Wednesday: Brooks Taylor, basketball (42)
Thursday: Ali Stark, volleyball (20)
Friday: Janet Rayfield, soccer coach
Saturday: Dere Hicks, football (26)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends

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