Good Morning, Illini Nation: Different feel for this NCAA tournament

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Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team and college basketball at large:

Coleman Hawkins and Terrence Shannon Jr. are the NCAA tournament veterans on this Illinois team, playing in their fourth March Madness. Quincy Guerrier hasn't been to the tournament since his sophomore year at Syracuse (a Sweet 16 run by the Orange). Marcus Domask is playing in his first.

But there's a different vibe for some of the other Illini getting another crack at the Big Dance.

"I definitely feel more comfortable," Illinois junior guard Luke Goode said. "The last two years I've been lucky enough to play in the tournament and hit some shots in the tournament. I'm just excited this year. It's not as much nerves as it was in the past. It's excited for the opportunity."

Sophomore guard Ty Rodgers is in a similar place.

"I think I feel a little more calm coming into this one where last year it was a lot of nerves," he said. "It's something you always dream of as a kid, and for my first year last year it was kind of nerve-wracking. Coming into this, I feel more like a vet and I feel more calm and comfortable."