ROSEMONT, IL - JANUARY 17: Head coach Oliver Purnell of the DePaul Blue Demons reacts to a referee's call against the Georgetown Hoyas at Allstate Arena on January 17, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. Georgetown defeated DePaul 83-75. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Recaping a tough week for the Illini, Blue Demons, and Wildcats.
The Chicago basketball scene may be forever dominated by the Chicago Bulls, but, If only for a moment, college hoops in the city was starting to look up.
Illinois beat Ohio State earlier this month in what's bound to be one of the top regular season games of the year thanks to a borderline legendary performance from junior guard Brandon Paul. Northwestern started the season 7-0, and looked like it could finally -- FINALLY -- reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. DePaul looked, well, improved, which is always the first step for a perennial doormat like the Blue Demons. But the positive vibes were washed away completely last week as each team lost a heart-breaking game.
Illinois entered its home game against Wisconsin at No. 25 in the polls, but fell 67-63. Wisconsin hit six more three-pointers than the Illini to earn the win. The loss dropped Illinois to 15-5 overall and 4-3 in the conference.
DePaul doesn't get many opportunities to earn a conference win in the rugged Big East, but a Sunday game at home against South Florida presented a real opportunity for the Blue Demons. Unfortunately for DePaul, Augustus Gilchrist scored 22 points to lead South Carolina to a 75-59 win.
Northwestern dropped its third game on four tries on Sunday by falling to Minnesota 75-52. The loss moves the Wildcats to 12-7 overall. It looks like Northwestern will have to wait another year to try to reach its first NCAA Tournament.