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Illinois Fighting Illini
RECORD: 24 - 6 REGION: Atlanta  SEED: 5
COACH: Bruce Weber CONFERENCE: Big Ten
RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD | ILLINOIS INSIDER

Road to the Final Four  ...................................................................................

PREVIOUS GAMES
OPPONENT ROUND RESULT
Murray St 1st Round W 72 - 53
Cincinnati 2nd Round W 92 - 68
Duke Sweet 16 L 72 - 62


REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS
Points Per Game 79.1 Rebounds Per Game 37.8
Assists Per Game 14.1 Steals Per Game 6.3
Blocks Per Game 3.6 Turnovers Per Game 9.8
Field Goal % .452 Free Throw % .777
3-Point % .377 3-Pointers Per Game 3.4


Will lose when ...
This young squad acts its age, isn't tough enough on the glass or gets sloppy with the ball.

Famous Last Words
Illinois is playing as well as anyone in the country right now. If Dee Brown continues to knock down perimeter shots and this team keeps sharing the ball, watch out.

Complete team report



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TO THIS POINT    
How They Got Here: At-Large Bid
March has become the month of the guard and that's why Illinois is the only Big Ten team still standing in the NCAA Tournament. In Dee Brown, the Illini has perhaps the quickest player with the ball in his hands since Allen Iverson was a collegian. Nicknamed the "One-Man Fast Break," Brown is an absolute blur.

But despite the cool moniker, Brown hasn't helped the Illini advance to the Sweet 16 by himself. After easily ousting Murray State in the first round, Illinois was supposed to face a stern test from trash-talking Cincinnati in Round 2. However, Bruce Weber's Illinois squad let its ball movement and sizzling shooting do the talking in a 92-68 thrashing of the Bearcats. Deron Williams, the most underrated player in the Big Ten, scored 31 points and Roger Powell added 22 in the lopsided win.

Next up is No.1 seed Duke, the team considered the team to beat in Picksfield now that Kentucky and Stanford have been sent packing. To upset the Blue Devils, Illinois must continue its flawless ball handling (26 assists, 4 turnovers vs. Cincinnati) and its perimeter players (Brown, Williams, Powell) must match the output of Duke's Chris Duhon, J.J. Redick and Luol Deng). No easy task there, but the winner gets to face the Texas-Xavier survivor for a spot in the Final Four.

Nobody is questioning Bruce Weber's style these days, not after 12 straight wins and a Big Ten regular season championship. The only blemish since Feb. 1 came in the Big Ten title game, where the Illini lost to Wisconsin. In fact, the Badgers are only team to beat Illinois since Jan. 17, handing the Illinois a in January as well. Despite entering the Dance on a bit of a low, Illinois won six straight road game during its defining month of Februry.

PLAYER TO WATCH      
Dee Brown | G | Sophomore
Speed thrills and Dee Brown, Illinois' super-quick guard, is a prime example. Brown breaks down opponents off the dribble on offense and darts into the passing lanes on defense. Although a streaky shooter, Brown is a good scorer. An effective playmaker, Brown finds the open man.

ROSTER
NO NAME HT WT YR  PPG RPG APG MPG FG% FT% 3PT%
  Deron Williams 6-3  209   13.93.26.134.2.406.794.387
  Dee Brown 6-0  185 Sr 13.03.74.534.7.400.681.340
  Luther Head 6-3  185 Sr 11.43.52.228.9.454.771.348
  Roger Powell Jr. 6-6  235 Sr 11.15.10.726.2.586.638.273
  James Augustine F-C  6-10  235 Sr 9.47.40.627.5.627.638.000
  Nick Smith 7-2  250 Sr 7.23.31.217.5.473.803.320
  Rich McBride 6-3  205 Sr 3.21.21.214.5.297.800.304
  Brian Randle 6-8  225   2.92.40.511.6.565.464.250
  Jack Ingram F-C  6-10  245 Sr 2.12.20.48.7.426.600.000
  Warren Carter 6-9  220 Sr 1.30.60.34.0.400.800.000
  Jerrance Howard 6-1  200 Sr 1.20.40.54.7.385.833.364
  Aaron Spears F-C  6-10  256 Sr 1.20.60.15.3.500.375.000
  Fred Nkemdi 6-5  235 Sr 0.00.60.01.4.000.000.000



LAST 5 GAMES LEADERS
OPPONENT RESULT POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS
@ Ohio StateW, 64-63   
@ PurdueW, 81-79   
NorthwesternW, 66-56   
@ IowaW, 78-59   
@ Penn StateW, 66-58   


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AUDIO/VIDEO
 
 Sweet Champagne
Mike and Mike: Illinois coach Bruce Weber eyes changes in hoop balance of power. But most of all, he's thinking about Duke.
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