James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Up until Saturday night, Illinois’ season has been described in strange terms. At that point, it was “surprising” that Illinois was undefeated. The Illini won the Maui Invitational, which was a very “prestigious” early-season tournament. This isn’t normally how one talks about an undefeated team that’s ranked in the top-15.
Brandon Paul scored 35 points to lead No. 13 Illinois over No. 10 Gonzaga 85-74 on Saturday in a matchup of unbeaten teams. Tracy Abrams added 14 points for Illinois (10-0) and new coach John Groce is off to the best debut for an Illinois coach in the team’s modern history.
Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE
With the volume of competitive games slowing considerably this week, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we’ve seen in the first four weeks of the 2012-13 basketball season.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
It’s been a bit of a quiet week for Big Ten basketball, with most teams facing tune-up games against over-matched opponents. Let’s take a quick look at the games that weren’t complete blowouts.
Brandon Paul scored 14 points and No. 13 Illinois earned a 72-64 win over Western Carolina on Tuesday. Western Carolina tied the game at 54-54 with 6:15 left. Illinois guard D.J. Richardson hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for a 62-56 lead. Richardson finished with 13 points.
Mark Dolejs-US PRESSWIRE
In a bit of a surprise, the ACC took four of six games last night to clinch a tie in this year’s Challenge. Let’s look at how they did it.