Illini back in NCAA tournament conversation after win at Nebraska


CHAMPAIGN — Left for dead by much of Illini Nation with a 3-8 Big Ten record less than a month ago, the Illinois basketball team is more alive now than ever after winning three straight games and four of its last five.  A convincing 73-57 win at Nebraska Sunday night has the Illini back in the NCAA tournament conversation.

The Illini (17-12, 7-9 B1G) made 13 3-pointers against the Huskers, while holding them to just 37 percent shooting for the game.

“I’m really proud of our guys cause we know hard they are to play, how tough they are physically,” Illinois head coach John Groce said about Nebraska.  “How difficult they are to play in here, the great wins they’ve had in here.  The great crowd they had today so it was a great win for us and a step in the right direction and you know obviously we’ve got a couple days here to prepare for a really, really good Michigan State team here on Wednesday night at home.”

Illinois now turns its attention to the Spartans, who have also won four of their last five games.  The 8 p.m. tipoff Wednesday marks the final home game for the six Illini seniors, who are still searching for their first NCAA tournament appearance.

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