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.
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.