Quick hits | No. 13 Illinois 77, Ohio State 74

Mar. 15—What happened

Ohio State's inability to slow down Dain Dainja in the post was both the turning point and the difference maker in the second half of Friday night's Big Ten tournament quarterfinal matchup at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. The Buckeyes pushed their advantage to 10 points with 11 minutes to play. Dainja scored all 12 of his second-half points from that moment on, leading Illinois to a come-from-behind 77-74 victory.

What it means

One thing was clear. Illinois was not at its optimal best — especially offensively — against the Buckeyes. Marcus Domask had the off night of all off nights after a Big Ten season's worth of consistency. The Illini missed several bonus scoring opportunities off Ohio State turnovers and after securing offensive rebounds. They still won the game. That's a good sign at this time of year where the number of guaranteed games remains at just two.

What's next

No time to dwell on Friday night's shortcomings or successes. That's Big Ten tournament basketball. Illinois will be in action against Saturday afternoon at the Target Center with its pursuit of a Big Ten tournament title still very much in play. How the Illini handle the quick turnaround — from recovery to prepping for Nebraska in less than 24 hours after the Cornhuskers walloped Indiana — will dictate if their tourney run continues.

What was said

"You always have to learn from them. Most importantly, you have to learn why you got there. The fight back is something. I think we've only been down double digits three times this year (Valparaiso, Tennessee and at Purdue). ... So it hasn't happened with us a lot. I don't doubt this team's toughness and their grit, but I think we have to learn why we have those moments." — Illinois coach Brad Underwood after the comeback against Ohio State