THE FIGHTING ILLINI DID IT, Y'ALL.
No. 12 seed Illinois (15-18, 5-13) pulled off a huge upset and defeated No. 5 seed Iowa (21-10, 12-6) by a final score of 68-66. Jalen Coleman-Lands (17 PTS), Kendrick Nunn (16 PTS), and Maverick Morgan (14 PTS) were phenomenal for the Orange and Blue, but this was perhaps the most complete team victory of the season.
Illinois squandered a double-digit lead down the stretch, but Malcolm Hill knocked down a clutch 15-foot shot to regain the lead. After a flurry of timeouts by John Groce and Fran McCaffery, the Illini defense geared up for one final stand with about 4 seconds remaining in the game. Kendrick Nunn got his hand in the passing lane on the inbounds play, and it resulted in a video review that eventually awarded the ball to Illinois as time was expiring.
Illinois gave up a combined 50 points to Peter Jok and Jarrod Uthoff, but their defensive effort may have been the story of the day. All five players on the court seemed to be in synch for the first time all year, and Iowa's other players couldn't find any room to score.
We'll have more up on the game momentarily. For now, enjoy these tweets!
Illinois will face No. 4 seed Purdue on Friday afternoon; the game is scheduled to begin 25 minutes after the conclusion of No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 1 Indiana (11:00am CT tip), so you can expect them to start around 1:30pm CT. Illinois' only game of the season against the Boilermakers resulted in a 84-70 victory at home.
You can find more information on the Big Ten Tournament right here.