NCAA tournament preview: No. 3 Illinois vs. No. 11 Duquesne; 7:40 p.m., Saturday

Mar. 22—Beat writer Scott Richey, who has a 31-4 prediction record this season, breaks down Saturday's game between the Illini and Dukes (7:40 p.m., TNT):


Illinois (27-8)


G/F Marcus Domask Gr. 6-6 15.9 Waupun, Wis.

G Terrence Shannon Jr. Sr. 6-6 23.1 Chicago

G/F Ty Rodgers So. 6-6 6.5 Saginaw, Mich.

F Quincy Guerrier Gr. 6-8 9.7 Montreal

F Coleman Hawkins Sr. 6-10 12.3 Sacramento, Calif.

FYI: Postseason Shannon has been the best Shannon. The Illinois guard scored 26 points in Thursday's NCAA tournament first-round win against Morehead State and is averaging 32 points since Illinois started postseason play in the Big Ten tournament.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Justin Harmon Gr. 6-4 5.9 Chicago

F/C Dain Dainja R-Jr. 6-9 6.2 Brooklyn Park, Minn.

G Luke Goode Jr. 6-7 5.9 Fort Wayne, Ind.

Duquesne (25-11)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Dae Dae Grant Sr. 6-2 16.7 Lorain, Ohio

G Jimmy Clark III Sr. 6-3 15.0 Covington, Ga.

G Jake DiMchele Fr. 6-4 6.5 McKees Rock, Pa.

F Fousseyni Drame Gr. 6-7 6.8 Bamako, Mali

F David Dixon So. 6-9 7.1 Memphis, Tenn.

FYI: Drame knows the magic of a March Madness run. He and his brother, Hassan, both played at Saint Peter's in 2022 when the Peacocks reached the Elite Eight as a No. 15 seed. They spent last season at La Salle — moving on from Saint Peter's when coach Shaheen Holloway got the Seton Hall job — and transferred again this year to Duquesne.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

F Dusan Mahorcic Gr. 6-10 4.7 Belgrade, Serbia

F Jakub Necas Fr. 6-8 2.5 Blansko, Czech Republic

G Kareem Rozier So. 5-9 5.4 Detroit


➜ Site: CHI Health Center (17,560); Omaha, Neb.

➜ Radio: Brian Barnhart (play-by-play) and former Illini Deon Thomas (analysis) will have the call on the Illini Sports Network on WDWS 1400-AM, WDWS 93.9-FM, WHMS 97.5-FM, WPXN 104.9-FM, WDAN-1490-AM and WDNL 102.1-FM.

➜ TV: Tom McCarthy (play-by-play), Deb Antonelli and Avery Johnson (analysis) and AJ Ross (sideline reports) will have the call on TNT.

➜ Series: Illinois leads 2-1.

➜ Last meeting: Illinois won 112-81 on Dec. 9, 1988, in Champaign. Lowell Hamilton scored a game-high 18 points and led six Illini in double figures.

➜ FYI: Duquesne assistant coach Dru Joyce III and Illinois guard Sencire Harris both played high school basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. Joyce, who was teammates with LeBron James, played for Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot for the Fighting Irish. Harris played for Joyce's dad, Dru Joyce II.

Beat writer Scott Richey's storylines

Goode a fan of CHI Health Center

Luke Goode knocked down 3 of 4 three-pointers in Illinois' 85-69 NCAA tournament first-round win against Morehead State on Thursday at CHI Health Center. Location might have mattered for the Illini guard, who has just three other multiple-three games in his last 15 outings. Because Goode was feeling it Wednesday during Illinois' early afternoon public shootaround. "You wonder why Creighton shoots the ball so well from three," Goode said. The Bluejays call CHI Health Center home. "The lighting is good. The rims are good. I was feeling it during shootaround and went into the game with confidence. We went to the practice facility (Thursday) morning and got some shots up, so I got in a little bit of a rhythm, but when you've got that confidence and you've got that feel as a shooter, you just let it go." The ball was also the same used in the Big Ten tournament, where Goode made 4 of 9 three-pointers in the semifinals against Nebraska last Saturday. "We've been playing with it for a couple weeks now," Goode said. "I shot that first shot and was like, 'All right, I can do this. This is good.'"

Gibbs-Lawhorn makes most of opportunity

Illinois freshman Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn played more minutes in the first half of Thursday's game against Morehead State (seven) than he had in 16 of the previous 24 games he played this season. The 6-foot-1 guard got a few more minutes in the second half once the game was well in hand and finished with six points on a pair of three-pointers. The most he's scored since he had nine on Dec. 29 against Fairleigh Dickinson. "I wanted to provide my team with energy — especially on the defensive end and get some stops," Gibbs-Lawhorn said. "We were desperate for some stops at the time. That was it, really. I didn't come in intending to shoot threes or shoot the ball. I just came in intending to provide energy for the squad."

Providing a defensive challenge

Defense was at the heart of Duquesne's 71-67 win against BYU in Thursday's first first-round game in Omaha, Neb. The Dukes held the Cougars to 39 percent shooting overall and a 33 percent mark from three-point range. Duquesne also got 19 points off 12 BYU turnovers. "The score pretty much says exactly why we won," Dukes coach Keith Dambrot said. "That's a very high-scoring team, and we knew that we had to play into the 60s, low 60s, mid-60s, and not much higher than it was for us to win. That's just not the way we win. I will say this. If you watch them play — back-cuts, slips, all of those — we eliminated them all. The only thing they beat us with was one-on-one and at the three-point line some. They didn't get any easy ones. We made them work for everything they got."

The News-Gazette's pick

Illinois 82, Duquesne 69

Illinois showed off its offensive potential in running away from Morehead State in the first round. A big game from Terrence Shannon Jr. A triple-double from Marcus Domask. A second-half takeover from Dain Dainja. Saturday it could be Coleman Hawkins or more Luke Goode three-pointers. Maybe a breakout game from Quincy Guerrier. The Illini have options. Maybe too many for Duquesne to stop. (N-G prediction record: 31-4)