Bob's buzzer beaters | That didn't end well

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What, did you think Illinois was going to beat Northwestern by 30 points again?

This time, Chris Collins and the Wildcats put up a fight, winning in overtime 96-91 on a wild night in Evanston.

No. 10 Illinois is now going to get every team's best shot. No matter who is in the lineup.

Northwestern viewed the game against Illinois as a chance to help its own NCAA tournament selection cause.

And got it done.

Northwestern star Boo Buie hit a three-pointer with 3:35 left in overtime to spark a stunning Northwestern extra session at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

It is a game they will be talking in Evanston for years. And remember, the Wildcats beat No. 1 Purdue at home earlier this season.

But Illinois is bigger.

"We made a couple mistakes down the stretch," UI coach Brad Underwood said on postgame radio. "Those are things we have to avoid."


All road wins are hard. And close calls will come in handy later in the season. Maybe as Brad Underwood's team is trying to advance to the program's first Sweet 16 since 2005. Dee Brown, Deron Williams and pals loved close games. Except for the last one.


Terrence Shannon Jr. was not the best player for Illinois on Wednesday. That role was split between Marcus Domask and Coleman Hawkins, who took turns making key contributions down the stretch.


After opening Sunday's Rutgers game on the bench, Shannon was in the starting lineup. During pregame introductions, he was loudly booed, which figures to be the case for the rest of the season when the team is on the road.


Shannon didn't wait long to get off his first shot, firing up a three-pointer just 41 seconds into the game. His first basket came with 16:42 left in the first half.


As usual when Illinois visits Northwestern, the team was well-represented in the Welsh-Ryan Arena stands. My correspondent in the seats guesstimates the breakdown was three-fourths Illinois fans.


During an early timeout, a chant came from the crowd directed toward Shannon "no means no." That particular chant will follow Shannon across the conference.


BTN announcers Connor Onion and Robbie Hummel mentioned Shannon's suspension early in the broadcast. They didn't dwell on the charges against Shannon in Kansas. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall at BTN production meetings. They are professional announcers who work for the conference's TV arm.


Shannon was called for his first foul with 9:08 left in the opening half. Less than a minute later, Shannon went to the free throw line to the same "no means no" chants as earlier. He made 1 of 2. The announcers didn't comment about the chants.


Luke Goode who replaced Shannon in the starting lineup, came off the bench Wednesday. He had two three-poiters early in the game.


Thanks mostly to Boo Buie, Northwestern led 34-32 at halftime. The Wildcats star had 12 points.

Shannon finished the first half with five ppoints, hitting 1 of 4 shots from the field and 3 of 4 free throws. He added a rebound and an assist.