Big ten tournament preview | No. 13 Illinois vs. Wisconsin

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Beat writer Scott Richey breaks down the Big Ten tournament championship between the Illini and Badgers:


No. 13 Illinois (25-8)

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G/F Marcus Domask Gr. 6-6 15.7 Waupun, Wis.

G Terrence Shannon Jr. Sr. 6-6 22.6 Chicago

G/F Ty Rodgers So. 6-6 6.7 Saginaw, Mich.

F Quincy Guerrier Gr. 6-8 10.2 Montreal

F Coleman Hawkins Sr. 6-10 12.6 Sacramento, Calif.

FYI: Shannon's 40-point outburst in Saturday's Big Ten tournament semifinal win against Nebraska moved him into third nationally in scoring. He trails just Zach Edey, who became Purdue's all-time leading scorer in the Boilermakers' semifinal loss to Wisconsin and is averaging 24.4 points, and Denver guard Tommy Bruner, who averaged 24 points this season.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Justin Harmon Gr. 6-4 6.2 Chicago

F/C Dain Dainja R-Jr. 6-9 5.7 Brooklyn Park, Minn.

G Luke Goode Jr. 6-7 6.0 Fort Wayne, Ind.

Wisconsin (22-12)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Chucky Hepburn Jr. 6-2 8.9 Omaha, Neb.

G Max Klesmit Jr. 6-4 9.5 Neenah, Wis.

G AJ Storr So. 6-7 16.7 Rockford

F Tyler Wahl Gr. 6-9 10.9 Lakeville, Minn.

F Steven Crowl Jr. 7-0 11.2 Eagan, Minn.

FYI: Storr is averaging 22 points in three Big Ten tournament games, including a 30-point performance in the quarterfinals when he went toe-to-toe with Northwestern's All-Big Ten guard Boo Buie the entire game. His 20 points in Saturday's semifinal victory against Purdue was his 10th 20-point game of the season.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G John Blackwell Fr. 6-4 8.4 Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

G Kamari McGee Jr. 6-0 2.0 Racine, Wis.

F Carter Gilmore Jr. 6-7 1.7 Hartland, Wis.


Site: Target Center (18,798); Minneapolis.

Radio: Brian Barnhart (play-by-play) and former Illini Deon Thomas (analysis) will have the call on the Illini Sports Network on WDWS 1400-AM, WDWS 93.9-FM, WHMS 97.5-FM, WPXN 104.9-FM, WDAN-1490-AM and WDNL 102.1-FM.

TV: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analysis), Grant Hill (analysis) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reports) will have the call on CBS.

Series: Illinois leads 117-89.

Last meeting: Illinois won 91-83 on March 2 in Madison, Wis.

FYI: Illinois and Wisconsin haven't met in the Big Ten tournament since 2010. The Illini won that quarterfinal matchup 58-54 behind 21 points and eight rebounds from Mike Tisdale and a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double from Mike Davis. The Badgers shot 29 percent from the field in the loss.

Beat writer Scott Richey's storylines

Healthy Goode back to making shots

Luke Goode banked in a pair of three-pointers in Saturday's Big Ten tournament semifinal win against Nebraska. He also drilled a corner three off the side of the backboard. "It either went in or was a bad miss, but I'll take 4 of 9 any night," said Goode, who finished with 12 points in the Illinois win (all threes). Goode had scored just 12 points in his previous six games combined, as he dealt with two different injuries. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native said he told Illini athletic trainer Paul Schmidt that Friday's quarterfinal game against Ohio State was the first time in more than a month he didn't hurt playing. "I sprained an ankle," Goode said. "Then I hurt my knee trying to dunk last week in a shootaround. Yeah, that actually happened. I've been in and out of the training room. I'm healthy now."

Is Illinois' NCAA tournament seed locked?

Brad Underwood is a seed line watcher. The Illinois coach has monitored his team's projected landing spot as the NCAA tournament nears, but even after Saturday's come-from-behind victory against Nebraska — a fourth Quad I win in two weeks — he wasn't sure if the Illini would climb from a No. 4 seed to a No. 3 seed. "I don't know if they're even evaluating (Saturday)," Underwood said of the selection committee. "I don't know if they're done. A lot of times they've been done the last Friday night and they wait for the upset or whatever to happen. ... All we can try to do is do our part and enhance our situation with a win. We beat a really good team (Saturday) and have an opportunity to do that again (Sunday)."

Badgers on the rebound in Minneapolis

Wisconsin lost eight of its final 11 regular season games. Went from 16-4 and ranked No. 6 in the country to 19-12 heading into the Big Ten tournament with seemingly zero momentum. But Minneapolis has been good to the Badgers. They thumped Maryland by 31 in the second round, outlasted Northwestern in the quarterfinals and upset league champion Purdue in overtime in Saturday's first semifinal to secure a spot in Sunday's title game against Illinois. "Everybody else in the country has gone through some sort of adversity," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "Maybe it's a three-game streak. Maybe it's a five-game streak. Maybe they had it in December. Maybe they had it in January. You're going to go through it. There's so much parity in college basketball. ... We get in our league, and we know each other so well, and there's great coaches and great players in our league, that you're going to take some bumps. You have to not put your head down, as these guys said, not feel sorry for yourself. Don't let the valleys get too low and don't get the peaks get too high and keep pushing forward knowing there will be light at the end of the tunnel if you do hit a rough patch."

The News-Gazette's pick

No. 13 Illinois 88, Wisconsin 80

Illinois has won its last seven games against Wisconsin, including a shootout earlier this month at the Kohl Center. The Illini have simply had the Badgers' number, and odds are that continues Sunday afternoon at the Target Center. AJ Storr and Wisconsin have found their form in the Big Ten tournament, but no one in the conference (maybe the country?) is playing as well Illinois' Terrence Shannon Jr. Ohio State and Nebraska couldn't stop him. Wisconsin probably won't either. (N-G prediction record: 29-4)