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Fighting Illini

Quick hit: Illini do it the hard way

Colorado vs Illinois

2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Analysis: Illinois vs. Colorado

It was defense that boosted Illinois to victory on this day. Illinois was especially stingy in the first half, which it allowed only 21 points and closed the final 7:05 of the half on a 13-0 run to take a 37-21 halftime edge. And the Illini showed an ability to withstand adversity in the second half, squandering a 16-point halftime lead and falling behind 44-39 with 9:00 left. But Illinois stayed composed and regained the lead, finishing the game on an 18-5 run.

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Illinois holds off Colorado to win

Illinois has been doing it the hard way all season. Why change just because it’s the NCAA tournament? After letting a big first-half lead slip away Friday, senior guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson bailed out the Illini with consecutive 3-pointers with 6 minutes to play and No. 7 seed Illinois pulled out a tough 57-49 win over No. 10 Colorado in the second round of East Regional of the NCAA tournament.

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Reader mail: My NCAA tournament edition

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time to reach into my mailbag and answer your pressing questions. Lots of good questions this week, as usual. Yes, spring football is heating up. But with March Madness here, hoops are on your mind. So, let’s start there.

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Watch Big Ten press sessions from tourney

Tom Izzo

Dunks of the Week: Big Ten Tournament Edition

Tournament coverage on BTN/BTN2Go continues as we bring your the press conferences leading up to ganmes as well as the sessions right after games. BTN also will televise the majority of Big Ten opponents’ press conferences. A schedule of currently scheduled press conference days and times is below.

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Dienhart: 64 reasons why the NCAA tourney is great

As if you needed any more reasons to celebrate the full-fledged start of the greatest spectacle in sports, here are 64 more—in no particular order—on why the NCAA Tournament is without peer. Why not 68? Because I don’t like the play-in games.

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Let's see these NCAA games: IU-MSU, please

Michigan State's "Hyper Elite" alternate

Victor Oladipo Block

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Technically, the NCAA tourney tipped off Tuesday night. But with a pair of Big Ten teams set to open the Big Dance on Thursday, it’s time to consider the best Big Ten NCAA matchups we may see in this year’s tourney.

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