As the their season came to a close, some thought that the Fighting Illini had already secured their place in the NCAA Tournament.
But some, including their head coach, weren’t positive that they had done everything they could.
“I was not sure,” Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “We felt pretty good and then you thought going into the Big Ten Tournament that if you could beat Michigan in the first round, you’d be at 20 wins and kind of solidify yourself. But we lost another heart breaker on Friday…You just didn’t know. Everybody kept saying ‘you’re fine, you’re fine.’
LISTEN: Bruce Weber On The Mully And Hanley Show
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“And I guess when it popped up at a nine [seed] it surprised me a little bit. We were worried maybe it would be in a play-in game, or I thought at best an 11 or 10 [seed]. But our strength of schedule, the number of top teams we played and the wins we had, I guess, pushed us all the way up to a nine [seed].”
The Illini will take on their former head coach Lon Kruger and his UNLV squad on Friday.