Quick hits | Illinois 85, Morehead State 69

Mar. 21—What happened

Dain Dainja happened. Less than a week after turning into the "Minnesota Miracle Man" with a strong second half in Illinois' Big Ten tournament quarterfinal win against Ohio State, the backup big man torched Morehead State in the second half of the Illini's first round NCAA tournament game. Dainja was nearly unstoppable — as in perfect shooting — when he got the ball in the post, ran the floor and crashed the boards. Not bad for a Thursday afternoon.

What it means

Any team that might find Illinois in its NCAA tournament path probably watched the 16-point blistering of Morehead State with a certain level of concern. took control in the first. Dainja in the second. Marcus Domask had a triple-double. Coleman Hawkins made several significant plays. The Illini showed why the Final Four hype they've had since December was rekindled this month.

What's next

Duquesne awaits in Saturday's second round. The No. 11-seeded Dukes fended off Brigham Young in Thursday's first game at CHI Health Center in downtown Omaha, Neb., to continue their surprise postseason run after winning an unexpected Atlantic-10 tournament title. Duquesne got 19 points from Dae Dae Grant and shot 39 percent from three-point range as a team to beat BYU 71-67 in its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1977.

What was said

"Yeah, we're going to give a different pregame speech than what I gave today and at Ohio State and Nebraska. That one is 0-for-3. I've failed these guys in that area. We've got to avoid those. They're smart. They understand that. But again, it's something that we can't have moving forward. That's on me. That's my job to get them bouncing off the ceilings here as we go." — Illinois coach Brad Underwood after his team overcame another slow start