Good Morning, Illini Nation: 'It was going to end sooner or later'

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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:

Illinois coach Brad Underwood appeared on "B1G Today" on Big Ten Network on Monday with studio host (and sometimes play-by-play man) Dave Revsine to discuss the Illini reaching the Sweet 16. A takeaway from that appearance?

"It was going to end sooner or later," Underwood said about Illinois' Sweet 16 drought. "My goal was always just keep getting there. You get there, good things can happen, and we made that happen this past weekend."

"I'm happy for our fans. I'm happy for the program."

Brad Underwood sits down with @BTNDaveRevsine to discuss @IlliniMBB's first Sweet 16 appearance since 2005.#B1Gtoday

— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 25, 2024

Here's more of what Underwood had to say on the matter this weekend in Omaha, Neb.

"I think for the program's sake it's mind blowing to me," Underwood said. "And I think there is frustration that we had a one seed and got upset this very game. But this program is elite. And to not be there in 18 or 19 years to me, that's more mind numbing.

"We had tough draws and a couple of injuries and you get beat. That's the beauty of March Madness. It feels good to be advancing with this group. I've said all along, this is one of my favorite teams to coach, if not the favorite. So, yeah, on to Boston."