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Gameday Central | No. 13 Illinois vs. Ohio State; 5:30 p.m., BTN

Mar. 15—This is March. Like, really March. The end of the regular season tips off the best month on the college basketball calendar, but those games don't come with urgency that tournament play provides.

It's now win or go home for Illinois. Beat Ohio State and advance to Saturday's Big Ten tournament semifinals or go back to Champaign to prep for the NCAA tournament (where there's real finality to win or go home).

First up is the Buckeyes, of course. The red hot Buckeyes, who have flipped their season on its head after firing Chris Holtmann and giving the coaching reins to Jake Diebler.

Ohio State has won five in a row — including last night's tournament game against Iowa — and six of seven since the coaching change. Two things stand out. Diebler is playing freshmen Devin Royal and Scotty Middleton more, and the Buckeyes are playing much faster overall.

Illinois doesn't mind playing fast. Thrives in it, actually. So it might come down to which team can get just enough defensive stops. First to 80 or 85 wins?

Follow along live (and courtside) from the Target Center in Minneapolis to see if Illinois can put off the "go home" part inherent in tournament play:

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