The Daily Illini

A neutral observer’s rooting guide to the Final Four

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, right, drives to the basket against Oregon's Elgin Cook during the first half in the finals of the NCAA Tournament's West region at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Oklahoma advanced, 80-68. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By Dan Escalona

March 29, 2016

Tweet: .Who should you root for in the Final Four? Check out @danescalona77's column to find out.Yet another wild, unpredictable NCAA tournament has produced a Final Four that very few people can claim they predicted. Now, if you are a neutral observer with no strong interest in any of the rema...

Purdue learned from past mistakes and crushed Illinois in the BTT quarterfinal

Illinois' Malcolm Hill drives to the basket around Purdue's Rapheal Davis in the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Tournament. The Illini lost 89-59. 

By Alex Roux

March 12, 2016

Tweet: Illinois’ season ends in BTT in a blowout quarterfinal loss to PurdueIllinois couldn’t afford to come out sluggish in the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Tournament Friday, but they took the floor flatter than the state they hail from.The Illini made it respectable against No. 13 Purdue for the g...

Illinois falls to Penn State despite Hill's career-high

By Eli Schwadron

March 6, 2016

Tweet: #Illini hoops falls to Penn State on Sunday despite Malcolm Hill's career-high 39 points.Malcolm Hill hit Penn State’s Isaiah Washington with a crossover in the closing seconds of regulation Sunday, sending the 6-foot-3 defender stumbling backwards. The left-to-right dribble created a fe...

Playing Maryland in a hostile environment could be good prep for Big Ten tournament

Illinois head coach John Groce watches his team from the sidelines during the game against Indiana at the State Farm Center on February 25. The Illini lost 74-47.

By Alex Roux

March 2, 2016

Only two regular season games remain for Illinois basketball this season, and neither carries much significance.The unfortunate truth at this point in the season is that the results of these last two matchups out east hardly matter for Illinois (13-16, 5-11 Big Ten). Obviously, John Groce and his players ...

Indiana routs Illinois again behind second half scoring barrage

Illinois' Malcolm Hill drives to the basket during the game against Indiana at the State Farm Center. The Hoosiers held Hill to just 5 points.

By Alex Roux

February 26, 2016

Tweet: It was a condensed version of their first matchup as IU routed Illinois again, 74-47, behind a second-half scoring outburstFor a half, Illinois battled.Stop me if you can guess what happened next.Illinois jumped out to a 14-4 lead over No. 18 Indiana and took a 28-27 lead into halftime before ...

Illinois routs Rutgers at home

Malcolm Hill throws down a two handed dunk in the second half of Illinois' victory over Rutgers on Tuesday Night. Hill recorded his sixth double-double of the season Tuesday.

By Joey Figueroa

February 16, 2016

tweet: The #Illini kept Rutgers winless in the Big Ten with a 82-66 win on Tuesday.Malcolm Hill gingerly raced down the court for an easy lay-in after a Rutgers pass went straight into his arms on the other end. The bucket capped off a 13-4 Illini run, and the tone was set — Rutgers just couldn't ...

?Illinois coasts to 82-66 win over Rutgers

Illinois' Maverick Morgan takes a short jumper during the game against Rutgers at the State Farm Center on February 17. The Illini won 82-66.

By Alex Roux

February 16, 2016

Tweet: Illinois coasted to an 82-66 win over Rutgers Tuesday, and it was hard to find fault in their performanceSomething unique happened Wednesday while Illinois took on Rutgers at State Farm Center.No, Illini head coach John Groce didn’t throw a chair onto the court. Malcolm Hill didn’t emulate D...

Illinois, Rutgers to rematch after "classic" triple overtime game

Illinois' D.J. Williams drives to the basket during the game against Iowa at the State Farm Center on February 7. The Illini lost 77-65.

By Eli Schwardon

February 15, 2016

Tweet: #Illini and @RutgersMBB to rematch Tuesday night in Champaign after "classic" triple overtime game on Feb. 3.Illinois-Rutgers on Feb. 3 was a toddler on Red Bull in the form of a basketball game. At times, the disorganized, fast-paced affair seemed more like a Campus Recreation intramural...

Battered and bruised Illini get extra time off to regroup

Illinois' Malcolm Hill brings the ball up the court during the game against Ohio State at the State Farm Center on Thursday, January 28. The Illini lost in overtime 68-63.

By Eli Schwadron

February 10, 2016

It’s no secret: The Illinois basketball team has been riddled with injuries and sickness since the start of the 2015-16 season.With one week between games and a couple days off from practice during that span, Illinois (11-13, 3-8 Big Ten) has the opportunity to heal, regroup and prepare for its Sat...

Simpson spurns Illini: Groce loses another point guard

Illinois' head coach John Groce talks to his team before the game against Nebraska at State Farm Center, on Wednesday, March 5, 2015. The Illini won 69-57.

By Alex Roux

September 9, 2015

Xavier Simpson, the No. 66 player in ESPN’s Top 100 in the class of 2016, has committed to Michigan over Illinois.The 5-foot-11, 170 pound Simpson chose Michigan over Illinois, Miami, Wisconsin and Iowa State. He announced the decision Wednesday afternoon at his high school in Lima, Ohio.Simpson t...