John Groce shook up the lineup, bringing Brandon Paul off the bench for just the third time in 55 games, but the Illini allowed 70-plus points for the third straight game — all losses.
What the Badgers said
“Any win in the Big Ten on the road (is big). Other conferences will say the same thing, but the way this league is going now, you look at the ranked teams we’ve played — I still consider Illinois a ranked team, because they were ranked and they beat a lot of good people.” — coach Bo Ryan
What the Illini said
“One thing I will say about following this league over the years and being in it previously, if you don’t guard, you’re going to be very ineffective. You have to defend in this league. We have not done that well the last couple of games. We have a lot of holes in our defense right now that we’ve got to patch.” — coach John Groce
What it means
Another opportunity for a quality win slipped away and Illinois can’t beat Bo Ryan. The Badgers have beaten the Illini in 12 of the last 16 meetings, including five straight.
Illinois, which has lost four in a row at home for the first time in five years, will have its hands full ending the slide when Indiana visits Thursday, likely as the No. 1 team in the country.