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Illinois counter a rebuilding season with depth

After failing to even reach the NIT in 2011, not much was expected from coach John Groce in his first year as Illinois head coach. The word “rebuild” is often mentioned in any conversation regarding the Illini squad. Under the tutelage of Groce, seniors Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson soared to new heights and led the team past a rebuild season and back into the NCAA tournament.  Illinois reached the 3rd r ...

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Even in Defeat, the Illini Season Was Anything But a Failure

"When you pour your heart and your mind and your soul into something I know it stings. If it doesn't then something would be wrong." A choked up John Groce said these words to a visibly broken Illini basketball team after their Round of 32 loss to Miami. The team had defied odds all season long in a roller coast ride that ended with a feeling that at least 67 other teams in the nation can sympathize with—de ...

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Controversial Call Seals Illini’s Fate in Loss to Miami

In a day full of several controversial calls across the NCAA Tournament, the contest pitting No. 7 Illinois against No. 2 Miami wasn’t an exception. After Shane Larkin made a go-ahead three pointer for the Hurricanes to take a 57-55 lead with a minute left in the contest, controversy struck on the other end. Illini senior D.J. Richardson air balled a three pointer that caromed out of bounds, appearing to co ...

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No. 7 Illinois Relinquishes 16 Point Halftime Lead But Holds on to Beat No. 10 Colorado 57-49

Despite suffering a 22-2 run and squandering a 16 point halftime lead, the No. 7 Fighting Illini held on for a 57-49 win over the Colorado Buffaloes. Live by the three and die by the three has been the Illini’s moniker all season long and never was it more apparent than in this contest. Illinois climbed out to a 37-21 halftime lead after shooting 6-16 from behind the arc in the first half. Senior D.J. Richa ...

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Illinois Strives for Consistency Facing Off Against Colorado

The No. 7 seed Fighting Illini will take on the No. 10 Colorado Buffaloes in a match-up of two enigmas. Both teams have fought through slumps to reach the NCAA tournament. Now that they’re here, they’re as dangerous as ever. On December 16th, the Illini were sitting at 12-0 as the John Groce era kicked off emphatically. After losing eight of their next 12 contests, the Illini fell to 16-8 and 2-7 in the Big ...

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Illinois Overwhelmed by Zeller and Oladipo as Indiana Advances in the Big Ten Tournament

It’s pretty evident the Indiana Hoosiers entered Friday’s contest against the Illinois Fighting Illini with revenge on their mind. The last time these two faced off the game ended with the Orange Krush spilling onto the floor when Illinois senior Tyler Griffey finished a lay-up as time expired to give the Illini the 74-72 victory. In their rematch at the United Center, Illinois failed to conjure up some ups ...

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Illinois Wins at the Buzzer to Open the Big Ten Tournament

It didn’t take long for the fireworks to ignite at the United Center as Illinois senior Brandon Paul hit a jump shot at the buzzer to beat Minnesota 51-49 to open the Big Ten Tournament. “I didn't want to lose,” Paul said after his late game heroics. “We worked too hard. This team has so much character and the coaching staff, they got us right for this one, as they do for all the games. So my mindset was to ...

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Illinois Looks to Lock Up an NCAA Tourney Bid as They Take on Minnesota at the United Center

The Big Ten regular season is officially in the books and man, it didn’t disappoint. The conference has six ranked teams and there is a general consensus that the Big Ten conference stands as the best in the land. All eyes will be on national title hopefuls Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State this Thursday when the Big Ten tournament kicks off in Chicago. After one of the most competitive Big T ...

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Illinois Embraces Defensive Culture as They Look to Avenge Michigan Loss

The next stop on the Fighting Illini’s revenge rampage is in Ann Arbor this Sunday. Illinois has knocked off five straight opponents, including a streak of beating three straight teams they’ve lost to this season (Minnesota, Purdue, and Northwestern) and are coming off a victory over Penn State, who happened to beat the Illini the last time they played last season. So pretty much, if you’ve beat the Illini ...

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Illinois ends losing skid against Purdue, extends win streak to three games

After winning its last two games by a combined five points, Illinois didn't need any clutch shots down the stretch to end an eight-game losing skid against Purdue. Illinois (18-8, 5-7 Big Ten) cruised past Purdue (12-13, 5-7) in a 79-59 victory on Wednesday to extend its win streak to three games. Illinois was led by 18 points from senior guard D.J. Richardson. Sophomore guard Tracy Abrams contributed 13 po ...

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