Illinois already has its eyes on No. 10 Michigan State for a Tuesday date at Assembly Hall, but before we can let the Illini and the rest of the local college hoops programs move on, we have to look back at the previous week of action. Unfortunately, it wasn't a kind week for Northwestern and Illinois. Each lost tough conference matchups that came down to the wire, and in the process, the Illini saw their tournament chances take a significant hit.
Here's a recap of what happened last week:
Saturday, January 28: Purdue 58, Northwestern 56
Purdue's Robbie Hummel hit a baseline jumper with :12 seconds remaining to hand Northwestern its third straight loss. John Shurna had a look at a game-winning three, but the ball bounced out as the clock expired. Drew Crawford (23 points) and Shurna (15 points) paced the Wildcats.
Saturday, January 28: Minnesota 77, Illinois 72 OT
Illinois' third straight loss came when Chip Armelin and Austin Hollins eached scored 14 points to lead Minnesota to a 77-72 in overtime victory. Junior guard Brandon Paul did all he could for the Illins, scoring 22 of his 28 points in the second half. Center Meyers Leonard scored 17 points and added 13 rebounds in the loss.
Wednesday, January 25: DePaul 69, Rutgers 64
DePaul scored its second Big East win this weekend when freshman Jamee Crockett scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half to lift the Blue Demons to a 69-64 victory. Cleveland Melvin (14 points) and Brandon Young (11 points) also starred in the win.