Indiana vs. Illinois preview: Hoosiers looking to lock up No. 1 NCAA seed


Indiana is hunting for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, while Illinois is looking to shore up its position in the dance.

The Indiana Hoosiers, hot off the Big Ten regular season title, now face the Illinois Fighting Illini in the conference quarterfinals on Friday.

The last time these two teams met in February, it was a nail-biting thriller, with Illinois pulling off a buzzer-beater layup to hand the Hoosiers only their third loss of the season at the time. Indiana had a couple more losses down the stretch to Minnesota and Ohio State, but their resume is otherwise spotless, and they're looking to claim the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

Illinois is in a slightly different position. After a buzzer-beater win over Minnesota in the first round, their spot in the tourney is secure, but they would love to shore up a solid seeding. SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean currently projects the Illini to get a No. 10 seed, and a win over Indiana would go a long way towards improving that.

But first, they'll have to slow down Indiana's one-two punch of Cody Zeller (16.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG) and B1G Defensive Player of the Year Victor Oladipo (13.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG). They were somewhat successful in that February upset, holding Zeller to 14 points and Oladipo to nine. Illinois will counter with Brandon Paul (16.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG) and D.J. Richardson (12.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG). Both players scored over 20 points in the previous match-up.

Game time, TV: Noon ET, ESPN

Location: United Center, Chicago

Line: Indiana by 10

More: For more on Indiana, check out Crimson Quarry. For more on Illinois, check out The Champaign Room.

More in College Basketball:

Bracketology: Selection Sunday week is here

The life and death of Earl Badu

Dagger! Watch Illinois win at the buzzer

Full coverage of the Big East tournament

Full coverage of the Big Ten tournament

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