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The 200 Level with Mike Carpenter: A Fighting Illini Fan Podcast
79 minutes | Feb 5, 2023
Illinois' 5-game win streak over the Hawkeyes comes to an end with an 80-78 loss in Iowa City. Mike Carpenter and Brian Hanson react during an exciting second half which saw Illinois take as much as an 8-point lead, but Tony Perkins' 32 points led Iowa back to a big victory.
59 minutes | Feb 1, 2023
Better Late Than Never (01/31/23)
A frustrating 30 minutes are followed by a dominant final 10, as Illini basketball beats Nebraska 72-56. Ride the roller coaster with Mike Carpenter as Illinois, trailing 50-48, go on a 24-6 run to win their 7th out of 8. With Iowa looming on Saturday, Brad Underwood's team has an opportunity to create some space in the top 4 of the Big Ten.
69 minutes | Jan 28, 2023
The Illini win their 6th straight against Wisconsin 61-51 at the Kohl Center. Mike Carpenter and Brian Hanson react during the 2nd half in which a 12-point Illinois lead evaporated, only to be followed by a 17-2 run to put the game away. Matthew Mayer had 26 and Jayden Epps added 13, as Brad Underwood's team is now tied for 4th in the Big Ten.
58 minutes | Jan 25, 2023
Scarlet and Yay! (01/24/23)
Illini basketball continues to confound, bouncing back in a big way with a 69-60 win over Ohio State. Mike Carpenter reacts during the 2nd half, as Illinois' lead grew to as many as 17 behind star performances from Jayden Epps, Terrence Shannon Jr. and Coleman Hawkins. Also, Ty Rodgers makes a big impact off the bench, capping it off with a monster dunk. Next up: the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday afternoon.
40 minutes | Jan 20, 2023
Crimson and Creamed (01/19/23)
Just when you thought Illini basketball figured things out, they lose at home to Indiana 80-65. Mike Carpenter reacts to a puzzling and frustrating performance, where a quick 4-0 start evaporated into a 20-point Hoosiers lead. Going forward, how should Illinois basketball set their expectations for a team whose only consistent quality is . . . being inconsistent?
59 minutes | Jan 17, 2023
Golden WHOA-phers (01/16/23)
Illini basketball continues their hot streak with a dominant 78-60 win over Minnesota. Mike Carpenter reacts during the 2nd half as Illinois turned a 3-point lead into 20+ with contributions from almost everyone. Matthew Mayer's torrid shooting, Dain's magic footwork, and high effort from everyone get the team over .500 in Big Ten play.
54 minutes | Jan 14, 2023
Yeah, We’re Back (01/13/23)
Illinois basketball comes up clutch with a 75-66 win over Michigan State, riding a 34-16 win in closing time and improving to 3-3 in the Big Ten. Mike Carpenter was wired and couldn't go to bed, so why not do a postgame pod? With the help of viewers on the YouTube Live feed, he discusses key performers for the Illini, including Matthew Mayer's hot shooting, Dain Dainja's down-low dominance, and Coleman Hawkins doing it all down the stretch.
51 minutes | Jan 11, 2023
We’re Back? (01/10/23)
Illinois wins their 2nd Big Ten game in a row 76-50 at Nebraska. Mike Carpenter reacts during the 2nd half, as the Fighting Illini stretch a 5-point lead into a 26-point winning margin. Terrence Shannon drops 25 points, while an ensemble cast contributed along the way. Next up: a massive home game against Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans on Friday night.
66 minutes | Jan 7, 2023
Breaking Badger (01/07/23)
Illinois gets off the schneid with a much-needed 79-69 win over the Wisconsin Badgers. Mike Carpenter reacts during the second half, as the Fighting Illini saw high-scoring performances from Terrence Shannon, Coleman Hawkins and Jayden Epps. A day after Skyy Clark left the team for personal reasons, are things trending in the right direction? Meanwhile, Bret Bielma's football program lands 4-star WR Malik Elzy from Chicago.
57 minutes | Jan 5, 2023
Crappy New Year! (01/05/23)
Illini football and men's basketball ring in the new year with losses, one of them tough (Reliaquest Bowl vs. Mississippi State) and the other a complete embarrassment (at Northwestern). Fresh from a trip to Tampa, Mike Carpenter reacts to both, with extra vitriol directed at Brad Underwood's crew for yet another rock bottom performance.
61 minutes | Dec 30, 2022
CU in Tampa! (12/30/22)
Mike Carpenter is ready for the Reliaquest Bowl, capping off a successful second season for Bret Bielema's program. He discusses Illini football's resurgence in 2022, from an October to remember to a November to forget, and why a win over Mississippi State would be more than just a cherry on top. Also, Luke Altmeyer commits to Illinois with 3 years of eligibility left, and a new DB coach is named. Finally, Brad Underwood's basketball squad showed signs of life before resuming Big Ten play next week.
37 minutes | Dec 23, 2022
It’s Broken (12/22/22)
Illinois basketball suffers one of its worst non-conference losses ever . . . in the Braggin' Rights game, no less. Mike Carpenter skipped the 2nd half reaction and cut into halftime with his response, marveling at the ineptitude of Brad Underwood's team against Missouri and questioning just what the hell is going on.
40 minutes | Dec 18, 2022
Oh Henry! (12/18/22)
Illinois football has its new defensive coordinator, promoting Aaron Henry to the position. Mike Carpenter reacts to the news, and why Bielema's decision makes perfect sense for the short-and-long term. Also, Devon Witherspoon and Sydney Brown opt-out of the Reliaquest Bowl, while fans await Chase Brown's decision. Finally, yet another eventful postgame presser adds concern for Illini basketball, as Matthew Mayer cites internal conflict between players and coaches.
38 minutes | Dec 11, 2022
A Flat(ulent) Peformance (12/11/22)
It's the day after Penn State smoked Illinois at home, yet the bigger story is Brad Underwood's response after the 15-point loss. Mike Carpenter reacts to . . . well, the reaction. He discusses how much coaches should be able to hold players accountable, and whether or not Underwood's biting critiques will spur on positive changes.
47 minutes | Dec 9, 2022
Life is Good (12/08/22)
Amidst early-season success for Illini basketball and planning for a warm-weather bowl game, Mike Carpenter is relishing the current state of Illinois sports. He discusses Tuesday's impressive comeback for Brad Underwood's team, and how dangerously high their ceiling may be. Also, he looks ahead to the ReliaQuest Bowl against Mike Leach's Mississippi State, and the ways in which this SEC matchup is favorable.
93 minutes | Dec 7, 2022
Hooked ’Em (12/06/22)
What just happened?! Illini basketball gets a huge win over 2nd-ranked Texas, beating them in overtime in Madison Square Garden. Mike Carpenter reacts during a 2nd-half mostly dominated by the Longhorns, until a late Illinois rally and a clutch Jayden Epps forced OT. Then, it was the Terrence Shannon Jr. Show, and Brad Underwood's team sealed the biggest win of the season so far.
63 minutes | Dec 3, 2022
Terp Derp (12/02/22)
Maryland continues to be the thorn in Brad Underwood's side with a 71-66 win over Illinois. Mike Carpenter reacts during the second half, which saw the Illini grit things out and even tie it up late. Ultimately, Kevin Willard's Terrapins were too much to handle, but it's clear these two teams will be vying for the top of the Big Ten. While there are no such things as moral victories at this point, things are still trending well for Illini basketball.
51 minutes | Nov 30, 2022
Orange Krushed (11/29/22)
Behind a dominant 2nd half performance and Coleman Hawkins' triple-double, Illini basketball smokes Syracuse 73-44. Mike Carpenter reacts during Illinois' onslaught, marveling at their relentless defensive effort and myriad of scoring options. Up next: the Big Ten opener at 22nd-ranked Maryland.
60 minutes | Nov 27, 2022
Eight is Enough (11/27/22)
Illinois football ends a 3-game skid with an emphatic 41-3 win over Northwestern, completing an 8-4 regular season. Mike Carpenter reflects on Bret Bielema's 2nd season, and how despite a disappointing November, the program is set up for both immediate and long-term success.
57 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
Silver Linings (11/21/22)
Normally, a weekend in which Illini football and basketball 1-2 would be a disappointment. Instead, Mike Carpenter finds silver linings in both, including an impressive showing by Brad Underwood's basketball team in Vegas and the near-upset in Ann Arbor by Bielema's football squad. Maybe it's because Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but at The 200 Level, we're feeling gratitude.
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