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The Illini need to win its final four regular-season games to avoid a losing regular season for the first time in eight years.

Easier said than done, especially with Indiana coming to Champaign for Thursday's 8 p.m. tip at State Farm Center. Along with a game at Maryland next Thursday.

The Illini (12-15, 4-10 Big Ten) have lost three of the last four games and currently sit in 12th place in the Big Ten, with a first-day game at the Big Ten tournament on March 9 looking more and more likely.

Beat writer Scott Richey took a variety of questions in his weekly chat today, ranging from Mike Thorne's status for next season (he's not getting a sixth year of eligiblity) to who will get honored at Senior Day on Sunday night with Minnesota in town.

A sample question:

Is the NIT within the team's grasp?

Richey's response:

"Every team that's ever played since that change was made in 2006 have had a .500 record or better. I would still say Illinois' resume wouldn't be enough anyway. Then you have to look at the CIT and CBI, I guess. Would Illinois want to play in those? Maybe, with a young team looking for experience, but only a handful of Power 5 programs combined play in those tournaments each year. Kind of few and far between."

To read the full chat transcript, go right here.