Illinois Fighting Illini
RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD | ILLINOIS INSIDER
RECORD: 24 - 6 REGION: Atlanta SEED: 5|
COACH: Bruce Weber CONFERENCE: Big Ten
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS
|Points Per Game
||Rebounds Per Game
|Assists Per Game
||Steals Per Game
|Blocks Per Game
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|Field Goal %
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||3-Pointers Per Game
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.