To answer the question "Which state is better for college basketball, Missouri or Illinois?" you have to look deeper than just SEC vs BIG Ten, and the answer becomes pretty clear...

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March Madness will begin within the next week or so and with college basketball owning the sports world for the next month I couldn't help but ask myself "Which state is better for college basketball, Missouri or Illinois?" and honestly the answer is pretty obvious to me.

To answer the question it's not fair to just say Illinois based on the fact that the Illini are having a great year, co BIG Ten champions and could earn a top seed in the big bracket based on their finish in the Big Ten Tournament, especially when you compare that to Mizzou, they have had a really down year and will most likely miss the tournament. SO let's dig deeper...

In order to make the NCAA Men's or Women's tournament, you have to be a Division 1 basketball program, according to Missouri has 5 such programs, Mizzou, Missouri State, St. Louis University, South East Missouri State, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. As of writing this article (3/9/22), St. Louis has made the tourney 10 times, while Mizzou has made the tourney 28 times being a 1 seed in 1994, and a 2 seed 3 times. So there is some really strong college basketball in the Show-Me State.

As for the Land of Lincoln well here is where the question is answered, Illinois is a college basketball beast. According to, Illinois has 13 Division 1 college basketball programs, headlined by the University of Illinois which came in 2nd place in the tourney in 2005, with 31 appearances, 4-time #1 seed, and five appearances in the final 4. Don't forget about Depaul who has made the tourney over 20 times, with two final 4 appearances, and Loyola who won the tourney in 1963, and has been to the final 4 twice. Plus Bradley who has made the tourney 9 times, and was runner up back in 1950 and 1954, and Southern Illinois who has made the tourney 10 times.

I love March Madness, it is a terrific time in the sports calendar, watching these college athletes hit buzzer-beaters and #2 seeds losing to #15 seeds is just awesome. But it should be noted, the Show-Me State can't compete with the Land of Lincoln when it comes to college basketball supremacy.

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