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Illinois makes leap from conference bottom to giant killer

Originally Published: October 3, 2007
By Bruce Hooley | Special to ESPN.com

The guys who build those mammoth casinos out in the Nevada desert have a certain image.

Designer suits, silk shirts and the elusive knowledge of an alluring-but-all-too-accurate betting line that will entice others to willingly part with millions.

Illinois coach Ron Zook sees something else.

At least he sees something else this week upon learning his Illini are 2½-point favorites Saturday against visiting Wisconsin.

To Zook, ...

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