Bob's buzzer beaters | Until we meet again

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The State Farm Center crowd was ready to blow the roof off the place. But Zach Edey and No. 3-ranked Purdue shook their finger "No."

After Illinois took a lead with over three minutes left on a pair of free throws by Terrence Shannon Jr., the Boilermakers went on a late run to win the Big Ten title outright for the second consecutive season.

The 77-71 decision sent the fired-up crowd streaming into the night. Disappointed to be sure, but impressed by what it just saw.

"Purdue's good and they made the plays," UI coach Brad Underwood said on radio.

He saluted the senior players, managers and cheerleaders who were recognized before the game.

"It's all about the accomplishment of what they've done," he said. "We would have loved to have a win tonight but it's a big picture thing."

Underwood wasn't bummed by the outcome.

"Our season's in front of us," he said. "Tonight's not going to do anything to hurt us in terms of seeding."


Marcus Domask went out with a bang in his one season at Illinois,scoring a team-high 20 points. He will be missed.


If Illinois sees Edey again this season, it will be in either the Big Ten tournament final or deep in the NCAA tournament. The certain national player of the year was a beast in his final trip to State Farm Center, scoring 28 points with eight rebounds. He had 18 points at half. No other Boilermaker had more than four.


The loss to Purdue ends any hopes for Illinois to share the Big Ten title. At 13-6 in the conference, the Illini will likely finish second in the conference race. Northwestern can tie for second by sweeping Michgan State and Minnesota this week, coupled with an Illinois loss Sunday at Iowa.


All the Illinois seniors were greeted warmly on their final night at the State Farm Center. But the loudest roars were for Coleman Hawkins and Shannon.


No surprise, the fan base that filled the building all season arrived early for the home finale.

By far the rowdiest crowd of the season. Centainly helped that the giant throng of Orange Krush members who were in line hours before the 6 p.m. start (check out The News-Gazette's Snapchat story).


Isaiah Williams was one of the many lllinois football players attending the game, The star receiver had a special reason to be there. Before the opening tipoff, Williams was honored with the first-ever Loren Tate Media Award, which goes to the Illinois football voted the most helpful to the press. News-Gazette legend Loren Tate presented the award to Williams.

Williams was an easy choice. He was on the shy side when he enrolled at Illinois, but has grown into a team leader and outstanding speaker. A go-to source for reporters after games, win or lose.


For the second time in recent weeks, a violinist performed the "Star-Spangled Baner." Noah Kublank's edition of the national anthem led the sold-out crowd perfectly into the introductions of the starters. Kublank has done it before with a similar crowd response.


With a matchup of basically Top 10 teams (Purdue is No. 3 amd Illinois is close at No. 12), Peacock pulled out all the stops for its broadcast. Play-by-play voice Noah Eagle was joined by two analysts, Stephen Bardo and Robbie Hummel. Note that is one Illinois alum (Bardo) and one from Purdue (Hummel). If it wasn't on purpose, it should have been. The former players worked well together and avoided talking over each other's words. Not as easy as you might think


Early on, Bardo sensed some issues for the Boilermakers "Purdue looks slow tonight," he said.


During the second timeout in the opening half, former Illini offensive lineman Nick Allegretti was shown on the video boards and introduced to the apreciative crowd. No former Illinois player has more Super Bowl rings than Allegretti's three he has earned with the Kansas City Chiefs. He started at guard in this year's win against the San Francisco 49ers.


The roar was even louder a few minutes later when former Illini basketball star Meyers Leonard was shown ... drinking an adult beverage. Could have been a Diet Coke. No, it was a beerf. Illinois football coach Bret Bielema was shown in the second half to loud applause.Pretty sure he was holding a beer.