NCAA Tournament Preview: (9) Illinois Takes On (8) UNLV

Date: March 18th, 2011

Time: 9:20pm ET

TV: TBS

Illinois is looking to make a run, in what was once a promising season. A loss tonight would be disappointing and fitting for a disappointing season. Illinois will try to turn it around tonight against Jon Kruger's Runnin' Rebels. Kruger was a former head coach of Illinois and if Illinois wins tonight.. they will almost surely play Kansas and Bill Self.. another former Illini head coach. 

In the ESPN simulation of the game, Illinois has a one point advantage. It is sure to be close, with UNLV looking to make a national statement and the Illini looking to save themselves from disappointment. Neither team wants to go home and it should come down to who wants it more. 

UNLV TEAM STATS:

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Tre`Von Willis 28 29.3 4.4 10.1 43.8 1.5 4.4 33.6 3.1 3.8 83.0 1.0 2.5 3.6 3.6 2.1 1.6 0.2 2.4 13.5
Chace Stanback 32 29.2 4.9 10.3 47.7 1.5 3.9 37.6 1.7 2.1 80.6 1.9 4.2 6.0 1.5 1.4 1.1 0.7 2.3 13.0
Oscar Bellfield 32 33.6 3.7 9.7 37.6 1.9 5.2 37.6 1.9 2.3 83.3 0.6 1.9 2.5 3.8 2.3 1.1 0.1 1.7 11.1
Anthony Marshall 32 26.4 3.4 7.2 47.2 0.3 1.8 19.6 2.5 3.5 69.9 1.1 2.9 4.0 3.1 1.7 1.2 0.4 2.4 9.6
Quintrell Thomas 32 15.2 2.3 4.4 52.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.9 3.0 64.6 2.0 3.2 5.2 0.3 1.2 0.3 0.8 2.3 6.6
Derrick Jasper 31 22.4 2.0 4.6 44.4 0.3 1.0 26.7 0.9 1.5 57.4 0.9 3.4 4.3 1.9 1.4 0.8 0.3 1.9 5.2
Justin Hawkins 32 18.8 1.7 4.1 42.3 0.2 1.0 22.6 1.5 2.1 72.1 0.7 1.4 2.1 1.1 0.7 1.3 0.2 1.1 5.2
Carlos Lopez 32 11.7 2.0 3.7 53.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.8 52.5 1.1 1.8 2.8 0.3 1.0 0.5 0.8 2.0 4.9
Brice Massamba 31 15.3 1.4 2.3 60.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.9 49.2 1.1 1.1 2.2 0.5 0.7 0.3 0.4 3.1 3.7
Karam Mashour 11 7.4 0.8 1.3 64.3 0.1 0.3 33.3 0.3 0.9 30.0 0.1 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.9 2.0
Todd Hanni 2 3.5 1.0 1.0 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0
Tyler Norman 6 3.0 0.3 0.7 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.7 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.7
Mychal Martinez 6 2.8 0.3 0.8 40.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.2 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.7

 

ILLINOIS TEAM STATS:

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Demetri McCamey 32 33.3 4.9 10.8 45.5 2.2 4.8 45.5 2.8 3.9 72.8 0.5 2.9 3.4 6.1 2.8 1.0 0.2 2.0 14.8
Mike Davis 32 32.6 5.0 9.5 53.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 2.9 68.5 1.7 5.4 7.1 1.6 1.3 0.9 0.8 2.3 12.0
Mike Tisdale 32 25.8 3.8 7.4 51.7 0.6 1.4 43.5 1.8 2.2 80.0 2.3 4.2 6.4 1.3 1.7 0.5 1.6 3.5 10.1
Brandon Paul 32 21.9 2.9 7.4 39.8 1.3 3.5 35.4 2.1 2.6 78.6 0.6 2.4 3.0 2.0 1.8 1.1 0.3 1.8 9.2
D.J. Richardson 32 27.0 2.9 7.1 40.4 1.6 4.2 37.6 0.8 1.0 75.8 0.3 1.5 1.8 1.9 1.2 0.6 0.2 2.0 8.1
Jereme Richmond 31 22.1 3.4 6.4 52.8 0.1 0.4 16.7 0.8 1.4 60.5 1.7 3.3 5.0 1.8 1.7 0.4 0.4 1.6 7.6
Bill Cole 32 20.6 1.8 3.8 45.5 1.0 2.7 37.2 0.5 0.7 81.0 0.9 1.6 2.5 1.3 0.4 0.6 0.5 1.8 5.0
Meyers Leonard 31 8.5 0.9 1.8 47.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.5 66.7 0.3 1.0 1.3 0.2 0.8 0.2 0.4 1.5 2.1
Tyler Griffey 24 6.9 0.6 1.8 33.3 0.2 0.5 36.4 0.4 0.6 66.7 0.5 0.8 1.2 0.0 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.8 1.8
Joseph Bertrand 14 3.5 0.5 0.9 53.8 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.3 75.0 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.4 1.2
Crandall Head 16 5.2 0.4 1.1 38.9 0.1 0.4 14.3 0.3 0.4 66.7 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.6 0.7 0.2 0.0 0.5 1.2
Kevin Berardini 8 1.8 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.8 66.7 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.8
Jean Selus 5 1.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.2

 

UNLV has three double-digit scorers, as does Illinois. I think this is a very equal matchup for both teams and that is why it will be close. They matchup pretty closely. A key for Illinois will be getting Demetri McCamey going.. he can't afford to have one of his 'relax and don't do anything' games... that Weber has called him out about. 

 

UNLV QUOTE:

"Any team that has the ability to play as they did on occasion throughout the year, there is a lot of reason for concern, No doubt. They have a lot of different weapons and a lot of guys that can make plays."

-- Lon Kruger, Head Coach

ILLINOIS QUOTE: 

"The key for us is when we get to gut check parts of games, you go through, there's probably six, seven games this season. They all had the same script."

-- Bruce Weber, Head Coach

 

Point Spread:    Illinois +1.5    UNLV -1.5

Prediction: This is a tough one to pick. For what it's worth, I think UNLV has a great chance to win this one. However, I am going to have to go with the Illini in a close one. Illinois by 2.

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