Coming off a narrow victory over Minnesota in the first round, the eighth-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini will face the top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals Friday afternoon. It's one of four quarterfinal games on the slate.
After blowing a double-digit lead in the first half, Illinois needed a late rally and a game-winning buzzer-beater from senior guard Brandon Paul to knock off the Golden Gophers on Thursday. Now a lock to make the NCAA Tournament, the Illini can presumably improve their seeding by advancing further in this week's tournament.
Getting to the semifinals of the conference tournament won't be easy, though, as Illinois will need to knock off arguably the most talented team in the country.
In a year of college basketball that's lacked dominant teams, Indiana comes as close as anyone to deserving that label. Armed with one of the best offenses in the nation, the Hoosiers have posted a 26-5 record despite playing in the country's most stacked conference.
Still, the Fighting Illini presumably doesn't lack confidence after upsetting the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall earlier this year. Though the 74-72 win was as close as they come, Illinois has proven that it's capable of beating practically anyone when things are going good.
Here's what the bracket looks like after the Illini's victory.
NOON ET: No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 8 Illinois (Game 1)
2:30 p.m. ET: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 5 Michigan OR No. 12 Penn State (Game 2)
6:30 p.m. ET: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 7 Purdue OR No. 10 Nebraska (Game 3)
9:00 p.m. ET: No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Iowa OR No. 11 Northwestern (Game 4)
Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner (Game 5)
Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (Game 6)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner
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