Illinois Fighting Illini players, coaches and fans would probably like to believe that the team's wins over the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans would be enough to get them into the 2012 NCAA Tournament. But the Illini have now lost five of their last six games, and with each loss anxiety mounts over whether or not Bruce Weber's squad is going to blow a tournament birth that at one time looked ironclad.
Illinois can go a long way towards getting back on the Committee's good side with a road victory over the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan, for their part, aren't exactly lighting the world on fire either, going 4-4 over their last eight games and clinging to the bottom of both polls. The Wolverines are led by sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and freshman guard Trey Burke, both of whom are averaging 14 points a game on the season.
But befitting of the Big Ten, expect the game to be low scoring, as both the Illini and Wolverines average less than 70 points per game, which combined with the early Sunday start, isn't exactly the recipe for an offensive explosion.
Game date/time: Sunday, February 12, 2012, 12:00 p.m. CST
Location: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.
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