B1G Tourney Quarterfinal Notes: Illinois vs. Indiana
March 14, 2013
Illini Big Ten Tournament Notes
The Illini own the second-best all-time BTT winning percentage at .649 (24-13).
Illinois has won two BTT championships (2003 and 2005), one of five conference schools to win multiple titles.
Illinois also has the second-most BTT championship game appearances, having advanced to the title game six times.
Illinois has advanced to the semifinals in all but three Tournaments (2006, 2011-12), with its 12 semifinal appearances the most of any school.
Illinois is 16-5 all-time in BTT games at the United Center.
The Illini have won nine of their last 10 BTT games played at the United Center, winning the tournament title in two of its last three appearances in the Windy City.
Illinois has advanced to at least the semifinals in all seven previous BTT at the United Center.
Illinois snapped a three-game BTT losing streak with Thursday's win.
After improving to 4-1 in BTT opening round games, Illinois now faces Indiana in the quarterfinals. Illinois is 12-2 all-time in BTT quarterfinal games.
Illinois and Indiana are meeting in the Big Ten Tournament for the seventh time, with the Illini winning owning a 5-1 record in previous match-ups. The teams last played in the BTT in 2007, a 58-54 overtime victory by the sixth-seeded Illini over the third-seeded Hoosiers in the quarterfinals.
Illinois is attempting to win multiple games in the same BTT for the first time since 2008.
Illinois is now 16-5 in BTT games when seeded higher, and 8-8 when seeded lower.
Illinois is 0-3 all-time vs. the No. 1 seed in the BTT.
Notes from Thursday's Big Ten Tournament Victory Over Minnesota
Brandon Paul hit a 15-foot jumper as time expired to give Illinois the victory over Minnesota. It marked the third buzzer-beating win for Illinois this season, following a D.J. Richardson 3-pointer in overtime for a 78-77 win at Hawaii (Nov. 16) and a Tyler Griffey layup to beat No. 1 Indiana, 74-72, in Champaign (Feb. 7).
Paul's game-winner over the Gophers marked the sixth buzzer beater in Big Ten Tournament history, and the first since Ohio State's Evan Turner beat Michigan with a near half-court shot in the 2010 quarterfinal.
Paul carried the Illini on Thursday, pouring in a game-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting and 4-of-8 from 3-point range. It marked the 11th time this season and 24th time in his career that Paul has scored 20+ points. Paul also surpassed 1,600 points for his career, becoming the ninth player in Illinois history to reach that milestone.
The victory over Minnesota was Illinois' sixth against an RPI Top 25 opponent this season, tied for the third-most in the nation behind only Indiana (eight) and Duke (seven). The Illini tied the game at 49-49 on a 3-pointer by D.J. Richardson with 44 seconds left. The tying shot came after a 68-second possession that saw the Illini take five shots, including two missed threes by Richardson, and get four offensive rebounds. Illinois then forced a turnover on the defensive end with 14.6 on the clock to set the stage for Paul's heroics in the final seconds.
The 2-point victory improved the Illini to 7-1 in games decided by five points or less this season, with the following winning margins at Hawaii (1), Gardner-Webb (1), vs. Auburn (2), Indiana (2), at Minnesota (4), Penn State (5) and vs. Minnesota (2).
The Illini fell behind 7-2 with 16:32 left in the first half, but took control of the game with a 19-2 run that spanned 11:56 to lead 21-9 after a dunk by Nnanna Egwu at the 5:51 mark. During the run, Illinois forced nine Minnesota turnovers and held the Gophers to just 1-8 FG shooting.
Illinois shot just 32.1 percent for the game (18-of-56), its second-worst shooting game of the season (at Iowa, 28.6 percent), but stayed in the game thanks to defense that forced 19 Minnesota turnovers, the second-most by a UI opponent this season (Western Carolina, 22). Illinois converted the 19 Gopher turnovers into 21 points. Illinois has now forced more turnovers than its opponent in 25 of 33 games on the year.
Illinois improved to 34-11 all-time at the United Center and 2-0 at the home of the Chicago Bulls this season after previously beating Auburn, 81-79, on Dec. 29.
Illinois owns victories over the No. 1 and No. 3-ranked teams in the current Top 25, defeating both Gonzaga and Indiana. Butler is the only other team with wins over the Bulldogs and Hoosiers, and the Illini defeated Butler as well.
Illinois will play its 12th RPI Top 25 opponent of the season on Friday in Indiana, the most games against RPI Top 25 teams of any team in the country. Illinois is currently 6-5 vs. the RPI Top 25.
The Illini have played one of the most difficult schedules in the country, owning the eighth-ranked SOS. Illinois' non-conference SOS, meanwhile, is ranked 30th.
Following his performance in the victory over Minnesota on Thursday, Brandon Paul joined Mark Smith (1978-81) as only the second Illini player ever to reach career milestones of 1,600 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 150 steals.
With 22 wins, Illinois has secured its most victories since 2008-09 season (24).
With a current record of 22-11, Illinois has currently exceeded last season's win total (17) by five games.
The Illini held their opponent to less than 60 points in seven of their last nine wins.
Illinois is 14-1 on the season when shooting better than its opponent.
Illinois has exceeded 70 points 16 times this season after doing so just 10 times in 32 games last year. The Illini are 14-2 on the year when reaching the 70-point marker.
The Illini average 16.6 points off turnovers and own a margin of +4.6 points per game in that category.
Illinois has four victories this season where it overcame double-digit deficits (16-at Hawaii, 11-at Gonzaga, 14-Indiana, 12-at Minnesota).
Brandon Paul has scored in double figures in each of the last six games, averaging 17.3 points (104), after a 3-game stretch from Feb. 10-17 where he averaged just 7.0 points (21). D.J. Richardson has made a 3-pointer in all 33 games this season, and carries an active career-long streak of 39 straight games with at least one trey.
Brandon Paul leads the Illini in scoring on the season, averaging 16.6 points. It is the highest scoring average by an Illini player in the last 10 seasons, since Brian Cook averaged 20 points in 2003.
Nnanna Egwu is shooting 51.6 percent from the field (16-31) over the last six games.
ILLINOIS-INDIANA LAST MATCH-UP: Griffey's Buzzer Beater Takes Down No. 1 Hoosiers
That's when Illinois made its charge, closing the game on a 13-2 run. After a Brandon Paul free throw cut it to eight, D.J. Richardson rattled off eight straight points on a pair of 3-pointers and a step-back 19-footer that tied the game at 70 with 1:19 left. Victor Oladipo put Indiana back up by two with a layup, the Hoosiers' only basket in the game's final five minutes. Paul then hit a pair of free throws to tie it at 72 and set up the exciting final series. Indiana held for the last shot, but Oladipo lost control of the ball and Richardson picked it up and raced down court and attempted a layup that Oladipo blocked out of bounds.
The Illini were out of timeouts with only nine-tenths of a second remaining. Paul was the inbounder and he took his time surveying the court before Tyler Griffey broke free cutting toward the basket. Paul threw a bounce pass into the empty lane where Griffey caught it in stride and made the uncontested layup. The horn sounded as the ball went through the net, and the Orange Krush poured onto the court to celebrate.
Notes From the Historic Win Over Indiana
This was Illinois' third victory over a top-10 team, tying the third-most single-season wins over top-10 opponents in school history. This is the seventh different Illini team in school history to beat at least three top-10 opponents, and the first since the 2004-05 UI squad did so with victories over No. 1 Wake Forest, No. 9 Arizona and No. 4 Louisville.
Illinois won its second game over a top-10 Big Ten team, accomplishing the feat for the second straight season and just the fifth time in school history.
Tyler Griffey's buzzer-beating layup was his second game winner of the season at the Assembly Hall. He nailed a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left as the Illini defeated Gardner-Webb, 63-62, on Nov. 25.
D.J. Richardson finished with a game-high 23 points, the second-best performance of his career.
Brandon Paul tallied his ninth 20-point game this season, finishing with 21 points.
The Illini senior class of Richardson, Paul, Griffey and Sam McLaurin combined for 85.1 percent of the UI's scoring in the win, totaling 63 points. It was their highest combined total in a game this season. Their previous high was 56 points in the win over USC (Nov. 19).
The trio of Richardson, Paul and Griffey, meanwhile, combined for 58 points on the night, the highest combined total of their four-year careers. Their previous best was 53 points last season in the win over Ohio State (Jan. 10, 2012). Richardson (23) and Paul (21) topped the 20-point mark in the same game for the first time in their career.
Illinois trailed by as many as 14 points and faced a 41-29 deficit at the half, overcoming their second-largest halftime deficit (12) of the season. The Orange and Blue trailed by 13 at intermission in their last-second overtime win against Hawaii (Nov. 16).
This was the second time in Indiana's last three trips to Champaign that the Illini won on a buzzer beater. Former Illini point guard Demetri McCamey hit a runner just outside the lane as the game clock expired to knock off the Hoosiers, 72-70, on Jan. 30, 2010.
Illinois beat Indiana in Champaign for the 10th time in the last 11 games, and evened the all-time series with the Hoosiers at 84 wins apiece.