Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Dec. 16, 2018

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Dec. 16, 2018

Eighteen years ago today – Dec. 16, 2000 – coach Bill Self’s fifth-ranked Illini basketball team won a United Center brawl against No. 7 Arizona, 81-73. Intense play between Illinois and the Wildcats resulted in 53 total fouls. Led by Marcus Griffin’s 15 points, four other Illini scored in double figures. One of those players, Cory Bradford, hit a three-pointer for the 74th game in a row, breaking the NCAA record in that category.

It was the second meeting in 24 days between the two teams. In Maui, then top-ranked Arizona beat No. 8 Illinois by three points

Here’s a look at the most recent Illini victories over top-10 opponents since 2000:

■ Feb. 7, 2013, Illinois 74, No. 1 Indiana 72

■ Jan. 5, 2013, No. 11 Illinois 74, No. 8 Ohio State 55

■ Dec. 8, 2012, No. 13 Illinois 85, at No. 10 Gonzaga 74

■ Jan. 31, 2012, Illinois 42, No. 9 Michigan State 41

■ Jan. 10, 2012, Illinois 79, No. 5 Ohio State 74

■ Feb. 6, 2010, Illinois 78, No. 5 Michigan State 73

■ Dec. 30, 2008, Illinois 71, No. 9 Purdue 67

■ Jan. 5, 2006, No. 6 Illinois 60, No. 7 Michigan State, 50

■ Mar. 26, 2005, No. 1 Illinois 90, No. 9 Arizona 89

■ Dec. 1, 2004, No. 5 Illinois 91, No. 1 Wake Forest 73

■ Dec. 22, 2001, No. 9 Illinois 72, No. 8 Missouri 61

■ Feb. 6, 2001, No. 7 Illinois 77, No. 4 Michigan State 66

■ Dec. 16, 2000, No. 5 Illinois 81, No. 7 Arizona 73

■ Dec. 9, 2000, No. 9 Illinois 87, No. 7 Seton Hall 79

■ Nov. 21, 2000, No. 8 Illinois 90, No. 6 Maryland 80

Illini Birthdays:

Today: Coran Taylor, football (19)

Monday: Steve Weatherford, football/track & field (36)

Tuesday: Pierre Thomas, football (34)

Wednesday: Cory Patterson, football coach (38)

Thursday: Gene Cross, basketball (47)

Friday: Roger Wolf, football (85)

Saturday: Kendrick Green, football (20)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore (Third Edition now available in stores). Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends and @B1GLLL. His website is www.SportsLLL.com.

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