Instant reaction: Illinois 86, No. 14 Indiana 66

Feb. 19—What happened

The most complete team performance of the 2023-24 season for Shauna Green and Co. Illinois had all five starters in double figures in shooting 52.5 percent from the floor, led by Makira Cook's 22 points, and the only reserve Illinois played, Gretchen Dolan added 11 points. That the Illini won by 20 against No. 14 Indiana was impressive. But that it came with Illinois only playing six players for the entire game showed just how effective its play was. Sure, Mackenzie Holmes had a game-high 24 points for Indiana. But the Illini frustrated Hoosiers guards Sara Scalia and Chloe Moore-McNeil throughout in pulling the upset.

What it means

Welcome to the NCAA tournament bubble, Illinois? Maybe. The Illini (13-12, 7-8 Big Ten) have plenty of work to do to put themselves in that conversation. But Monday's Presidents Day upset was the second biggest win of Green's tenure in C-U. The 90-86 home win Illinois had against Iowa on New Year's Day in 2023 holds higher standing. Still, it was the first win by the Illini this winter against a NET Top 25 team and a victory that put Illinois above the .500 mark for the first time since mid-December when Green's team was 6-5 after an 81-71 win against UTEP in West Palm Beach, Fla.

What's next

A gauntlet of a finishing stretch to the regular season continues with a visit to Carver-Hawkeye Arena this Sunday against No. 4 Iowa (23-3, 12-2) in another national TV game with Fox Sports 1 on the call. That means a matchup with Caitlin Clark, who last week surpassed Kelsey Plum as Division I women's basketball's all-time leading scorer. Clark is now up to 3,569 career points after dropping a career-high and program-record 49 points last Thursday night in a 106-89 victory against Michigan. Clark finds herself closing in on Pete Maravich's mark (3,667) for most career points by a Division I men's or women's player.

What was said

"I felt like we got bullied all afternoon. That's exactly the word I used with our players. Give Illinois a ton of credit for coming out and punching us right in the mouth from the beginning and just put their heads down and drove it. ... They did not back down. They're a hard matchup for us, have always been. ... They're so balanced. They have great inside presence. They have great guard play. They keep you constantly moving, which is hard to guard. They run great action, too. There's a lot of movement to what (they do). That's what makes them dangerous."

Indiana coach Teri Moren