Hoosiers beat Illini 80-64 in Big Ten quarterfinal

Illinois teased fans at the United Center that it was capable of another upset against Indiana.

The Illini closed to within eight points late in the second half, just as they had in Champaign when they rallied in the regular season for a last-second victory against the then-No. 1 Hoosiers.

This time, Illinois lost steam before they could muster a dramatic finish as Indiana regained control for an 80-64 victory in the Big Ten quarterfinals.

A 360 dunk by Victor Oladipo with 1:31 left signified the Illini’s Big Ten tournament run was over.

Illinois couldn’t sustain the momentum after cutting Indiana’s lead to 60-52 with 8:17 remaining. Indiana’s Christian Watford’s 3-pointer with 5:31 remaining enlivened the United Center crowd filled with Indiana fans and gave the Hoosiers a 65-52 lead.

The Illini will wait to hear where they are seeded on Sunday in the NCAA tournament.

Top-seeded Indiana advances to play the winner of the afternoon game between Michigan and Wisconsin.

Cody Zeller was unstoppable for Indiana with 24points on 9 of 11 shooting along with nine rebounds.

After shooting only 25.9 percent in the first half, Ilinois regrouped at halftime.

The Illini shot nearly 42 percent after halftime, cutting the Hoosiers’ 17-point lead to eight on two free throws by D.J. Richardson that made it 60-52 with 8:17 remaining.

A game after scoring 25 points on 10 of 16 shooting to beat Minnesota, Brandon Paul shot only 2of 13 to finish with 16 points. Tracy Abrams overcame a 1-for-7 first-half effort to also finish with 16 points.

Joe Bertrand added 10 points for the Illini on 5 of 9 shooting.

The Illini fell to 0-4 against top seeds in the Big Ten tournament.

By Shannon Ryan, Tribune reporterCopyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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