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What exactly would you call this season for the University of Illinois basketball team?
The last time Illinois and Colorado squared off in a game that truly meant something, the Fighting Illini fell far behind, staged a furious comeback and escaped with a dramatic one-point victory.
Illinois ran out of the gate to start this season, a hot-shooting surprise that opened 12-0 just months after imploding in a way that made observers wonder whether the Illini might carry the effects for some time.
About 20 minutes had passed since their failed attempt at beating the Indiana Hoosiers for the second time this season, but there was still a small sense of accomplishment in the room.
Cody Zeller scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 3 Indiana past Illinois 80-64 Friday in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
When Minnesota guard Austin Hollins stepped out of bounds with 14.6 seconds left in regulation, John Groce had a decision to make.
Brandon Paul scored 25 points and hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to lead Illinois to a 51-49 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.
Deshaun Thomas, playing perhaps his final home game for No. 14 Ohio State, scored 19 points Sunday to lead the Buckeyes to a 68-55 victory over Illinois, keeping alive their hopes of a Big Ten title tie.
By the end of that ugly Big Ten basketball tilt in Iowa City on Tuesday night, the only thing more plentiful among the Illini than missed shots was their disappointment.
Devyn Marble scored 21 points and Iowa beat Illinois 63-55 on Tuesday night for its fifth win in seven games.
Illinois used double-figure scoring from five players to hold off stubborn Nebraska Saturday, 72-65.
Trey Burke had 26 points and eight assists to help No. 7 Michigan bounce back from a slow start to beat Illinois 71-58 Sunday.
D.J. Richardson scored 18 points and Illinois opened up a big first-half lead that buried Purdue 79-59 on Wednesday night.
On Monday morning, a Facebook friend posted a status asking where people thought Illinois will be seeded in the NCAA Tournament. His guess: as a No. 8 seed.
D.J. Richardson scored a career-high 30 points, Brandon Paul added 14 and Illinois ended a three-game losing streak with a 71-51 victory over Nebraska on Tuesday night.
Jared Berggren scored 15 points and grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds, and Traevon Jackson added a career-best 14 points to lead Wisconsin over No. 12 Illinois 74-51 Saturday.
Joe Coleman scored 29 points and Andre Hollins added 19 to help No. 8 Minnesota top Illinois Wednesday 84-67 and remain undefeated in the Big Ten.
Brandon Paul scored 19 points and No. 11 Illinois bounced back from a tough loss in its Big Ten opener to beat No. 8 Ohio State 74-55 on Saturday.
Purdue figured out how to slow the pace — and still score a little, too, Wednesday night.