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Tracy Abrams, Illinois down Boise State, 71-56, in NIT

(AP) Tracy Abrams scored 18 points, Leron Black had a double-double and Illinois pulled away midway through the second half to beat Boise State 71-56 on Monday night in the second round of the NIT. No. 2 seed Illinois (20-14) will play fourth-seeded Central Florida (23-11) in a quarterfinal. The game was tied at 49 with 10 minutes left before Illinois closed on a 22-7 run. Malcolm Hill scored 13 points and has 1,817 for his career, surpassing Dee Brown (1,812) for third place all-time at Illinois. Abrams was 6 of 11 from the floor and made three 3-pointers. Black

Brad Underwood by the numbers

Illinois has hired Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood to the same position, and the BTN Stats Department breaks the hire down by the numbers.

Illinois names Oklahoma State's Brad Underwood as new head coach

Illinois has its new coach: It’s Brad Underwood from Oklahoma State. Underwood, 53, offers hope for a program that has missed the last four NCAA tourneys. Illinois hasn’t gone that long without a Big Dance appearance since missing the event from 1964-1980.

Malcolm Hill, Illinois rout Valparaiso in NIT opener

Malcolm Hill scored 25 points, Leron Black had a double-double and Jamall Walker picked up a win in his debut as the interim coach as Illinois route Valparaiso in an opening game of the NIT.

Best of the 2017 Big Ten Tournament

Now that a Big Ten Tournament champion Michigan has been crowned after blazing an incredible four-day trail through D.C., it’s time to pick the “bests” from the event celebrating its 20th season. It’s tough to narrow down these picks after 13 games in five days, but here they are.

Three Big Ten teams headed to 2017 NIT

Illinois, Indiana and Iowa made the NIT, it was announced Sunday night. The Hawkeyes, who advanced to the 2013 NIT title game, claimed the tournament’s top seed and open at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday vs. South Dakota. The Illini also play host in their opener, vs. Valparaiso, at 7:15 p.m. ET Tuesday. Indiana, meanwhile, travels to Georgia Tech. View the full NIT bracket here. #Illini earn No. 2 seed in NIT, will host No. 7 seed Valparaiso Tuesday at @StateFarmCenter. — Illini Basketball (@IlliniMBB) March 13, 2017 Indiana will play at Georgia Tech on Tuesday to open NIT play. 📺:

Illinois fires men's basketball coach John Groce

The John Groce era is over at Illinois. Many felt this was a pivotal season for Groce, who was under pressure and scrutiny when the 2016-17 season dawned. Well, on Saturday, A.D. Josh Whitman made it official, firing the coach he inherited.