Illini grade vs. No. 1 Hoosiers: A+

Illini 74
Hoosiers 72
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Illinois’ D.J. Richardson

Slender Peorian brought his team back with clutch shot after clutch shot in the closing minutes. Someday, he’ll be talking about this game with his grandkids. “Remember the time ...”

BACKCOURT
Illinois A-, Indiana B

Illini survived a scoreless night by Tracy Abrams. Back in the starting lineup, Brandon Paul looked like his old self. Jordan Huls reminds us of a young Damon Bailey.

FRONTCOURT
Illinois C, Indiana B+

Might be time for Nnanna Egwu to send the Big Ten officials some flowers or candy. Illini need him in the game at the end. Cody Zeller started slow but finished with his usual stats.

BENCH
Illinois A, Indiana A-

Welcome back Tyler Griffey, who scored the game-winner on a sneaky/smart cut to the basket and hit threes again. Don’t be surprised if he jumps back into the starting lineup.

OVERALL
Illinois A+, Indiana B-
John Groce beat No. 1. Just like Bruce Weber (2004) and Lou Henson (1979). His team moved off the NCAA bubble and back in the good graces of its losing-their-patience fandom.

Comments

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Bwp 5P wrote on February 07, 2013 at 9:02 pm

OH BABY.........living in Indiana and being a DIE HARD Illini fan.......you just can't imagine how sweet that was!

Very nice game for Tyler again. Now continue to play like this and we're not only IN the NCAA.....but NOBODY will want a piece of us!!!

beekay wrote on February 07, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Well, I guess this teaches me a lesson about apathy.  I forgot about the game, and didn't even record it.  I saw no possible way to beat Indiana.  I will enjoy it for now, but I have learned to have reserved enthusiasm for this team.  I'll become a real believer and lift my tourney hopes if they show me that they can beat Minnesota on the road.  Nevertheless, this is still a good evening.

jruss62 wrote on February 07, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I think they got the memo about playing 40 mins of defense.


Great game on cloud nine

JimOATSfan wrote on February 07, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Truthfully, I gave up on them after seeing the half-time score. Went out to complete our paver path project instead (noon time here in Melbourne AU).

Watching the replays and highlights - truthfully, tears of joy in my eyes. Loved it, loved the team play it took to get there. Happy for all Illini Nation and happiest for the players. Play as a team, hit your shots and enjoy the ride.

Cheers!

illiniearl wrote on February 07, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Griffey's game winning layin is ESPN's #1 top play of the day!!!!

Awesome!!   Way to go Illini.

I was at the Assembly Hall in 1979 to wtiness the Illini beat #1 MSU - best Illini basketball moment up till now for me.   Tonight's game ranks right there with it!

 

godisdad wrote on February 08, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Hoosier of the Game: Tyler Griffey. I hope he enjoyed his Busch Light and passing out on the front porch last night, he definitely earned it. I'd love to have been able to present him with the customary cut-off-American-Flag-T-Shirt and tallboy of Stage for the outstanding performance, but I'm sure someone else was there to do that.