Indiana Illinois Basketball

Illinois outlasts Indiana in overtime, starts Big Ten play off with win

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Rayvonte Rice went for 29 points and Illinois’ defense held Indiana without a field goal from the 6:44 mark in regulation until there were just 3.1 seconds left in overtime as the Illini brought home an 83-80 win over the Hoosiers.

Tracy Abrams added 17 points for the Illini while Joseph Bertrand chipped in with 13 points, numbers that aren’t exactly unprecedented given the talent that Illinois has on their perimeter. But they are somewhat surprising, as Indiana has a pretty good defense perimeter.

That’s a good sign for the Illini, as is putting up 83 points for a team that has had some scoring issues.

When do we start asking whether or not this team is legit?

At one point can we legitimately question whether or not this team can finish in the top four in the Big Ten?

There are two things that I want to see.

For starters, Illinois needs to get to the foul line more often. That’s probably the biggest knock on this group and the biggest reason they sit outside the top 100 in offensive efficiency. There offense quite often devolves into Rice or Abrams going 1-on-1, and both of those guys have a habit of pulling up for a jumper instead of getting all the way to the rim.

The other issue is on the interior. Noah Vonleh had 16 points and nine boards today despite spending much of the afternoon in foul trouble. Nnanna Egwu and Jon Ekey are both capable of stretching the floor, which makes them a valuable weapon for a team that relies on penetration from the perimeter. But they are going to score a lot of point with their back-to-the-basket and they could end up struggling against some of the better bigs in the league.

Illinois started off Big Ten play the right way, winning their last two non-conference games before beating Indiana today.

But one possessions wins over the likes of UNLV, Missouri and Indiana are not exactly overly impressive wins.

The Illini head to Wisconsin January 8th. Let’s see what happens then.

VIDEO: North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapses on sideline

Roy Williams
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North Carolina head coach Roy Williams collapsed during the second half of No. 2 North Carolina’s visit to Boston College on Tuesday night:

Roy Williams has dealt with vertigo in the past; it’s not abnormal for him to collapse on the sideline during games, and given that his team is currently losing to Boston College, it’s understandable that he may have screamed himself dizzy.

He had to be helped off the floor:

It does appear that this isn’t something serious, according to a North Carolina beat writer:

VIDEO: Wild sequence helps No. 12 Miami survive Pitt at home

Miami's Angel Rodriguez (13) dribbles to the basket against Pittsburgh's James Robinson (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Coral Gables, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
(AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
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Angel Rodriguez finished with 17 points and eight assists for No. 12 Miami, but it was lone offensive rebound of the night that earned the Hurricanes the win.

After center Tonye Jekiri missed two free throws allowing Pitt’s James Robinson a chance to tie the game with a three with 30 seconds left, Rodriguez was able to sneak in between three Panther players to tip-in a missed Davon Reed layup with 1.4 seconds left:

There was a bit of controversy on the final possession. Rodriguez, for some reason, tried to take a charge on Robinson when he caught the ball 70 feet from the rim. Pitt wasn’t in the bonus, so the no-call didn’t necessarily cost Pitt potentially game-tying free throws, but it could have given them another shot to draw up a play 30 feet further up the floor.

It also could have resulted in a foul being called as Robinson was shooting, which would have given Pitt three free throws.

That would have been bad.

But luckily for the Hurricanes, there was no whistle.