Illinois had extremely hot shooting tonight and lead 47-24 at the half and ending the game with a score of 88-63. They shot 70.5 from the field , setting a new school record. This was an all around great game. I really don't have any negatives about it from the Illinois stand point.
Illinois spread the ball around. Let everyone take shots. They had six men, including two off the bench, who scored in double figures.
They truly were the "Flyin' Illini" tonight, as DickieV calls them. They out rebounded the Wildcats 33 to 16.
If Illinois plays like this in all their Big Ten games, which would be a Big Ten miracle if they could do this every time they hit the hardwood, they will have no problem being in contention for that Big Ten title.
The trend of excellent shooting has already began with the Illini, who have shot 62.2 percent from the field in their last three games.
Northwestern did not come to play at all. It seemed like when Illinois hit shot after shot, Northwestern just gave up and handed them the game. That is not to take away from the amazing performance by the Illini, but it felt as if Northwestern didn't care.
More after the jump
Ever since John Shurna injured his ankle the Northwestern Wildcats have been spiraling downward. After getting off to a 8-0 start and being ranked number 25 at one point, the 'Cats have lost four of the last five games.
Northwestern put a huge dash into their NCAA Tournament hopes in this game. They needed this win on their resume, and now I think even with them upsetting a ranked team on the road, they still won't get in. The only way I see them getting in is if they win out.. and well, that just isn't going to happen.
Northwestern was lucky to have scored 60 points in this game. John Shurna only had seven points. If it wasn't for Michael Thompson and JerShon Cobb with a combined 33 points.
The past few games, the Illini have shown how deadly they can be in the Big Ten when they are playing together, as a team. Last year, I felt the Illini struggled to play as a team. They lost their chemistry, thus, missing the NCAA Tournament.
When Illinois plays like this, they are indeed a Final Four contender. Anyone who thinks differently, I believe is wrong.
Northwestern looks to have a bumpy road ahead of them as they try to get the wrong, righted. In the meantime, we will find out if Illinois can continue their quest to become the Big Ten's best when they go to Wisconsin and then take on MSU and OSU at home in back to back to games, starting January 15th.