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    NCAA Tournament Thursday Media Round Up
    John Groce during the NCAA Tournament open practice on Thursday.

    John Groce during the NCAA Tournament open practice on Thursday.

    March 21, 2013

    Thursday Links: Thursday Sights & Sounds Video | Photo Gallery | Open Practice Live Chat Recap

    Press Conference Videos: Coach Groce | Illini players | Press Conference Quotes (PDF)

    Player Locker Room Interviews: Tracy Abrams | Tyler Griffey | Brandon Paul

    AUSTIN, Texas - The Fighting Illini spent their second say in Austin on Thursday preparing for Friday's second round NCAA Tournament game against Colorado, which tips at 3:40 CT on TNT.

    The Fighting Illini held a closed practice at Cooley Pavilion on the University of Texas campus before going through the media rounds at the Erwin Center, which included a 30-minute open locker room session, one-on-ones with the TNT television crew and the Dial Global Sports radio team, and press conferences with head coach John Groce and Illinois seniors Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson, Tyler Griffey & Sam McLaurin. Following the media interviews, the Illini took the court at the Erwin Center for a 40-minute open practice. The orange and Blue ran through drills and got to shoot in the arena for the only time before tomorrow's game in front some Illini faithful who made the trip to Austin.

    "I'm excited for the University of Illinois and for our basketball program, our seniors, our players, that we have an opportunity to be in the world's greatest tournament," Groce said at his press conference on Thursday. "But we're not just excited to be here. Now we are here, we took step one, and now step two is trying to put ourselves in position to survive and advance."

    Illinois-Colorado Game Links: Live Chat | Watch | Realtime Highlights | Listen | GameTracker | Notes | @IlliniHoops | #Illini | Tourney Central

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