Jan. 19—What happened
There was a moment in the second half where Illinois could have folded. Michigan had cut its deficit to one. Momentum was squarely only the Wolverines' side. The sparse Crisler Center crowd was finally generating some noise. But instead of folding, the veteran Illini changed the game with a 10-0 run that went a long way in leaving Ann Arbor, Mich., with a win.
What it means
Big Ten road wins still come with a level of scarcity even if Iowa and Purdue each snagged one this week. Home court is still an advantage. So Illinois adding a second Big Ten road win to its résumé has real value. Only Wisconsin and Purdue can match that number at this stage of the season. That those are the three most likely Big Ten title contenders shouldn't be a surprise.
The first Big Ten rematch of the season with Rutgers coming to Champaign for a noon Sunday tip. Illinois opened conference play with a 76-58 victory against the Scarlet Knights at Jersey Mike's Arena. A win that still matters — all Big Ten road wins do — but also a win that doesn't have quite as much value as it did in early December with Rutgers 5-5 since.
What was said
"When we run, we're good. We have to find a way to continue to play with that pace. It gets guys open shots. It creases the defense. Our booty ball, I thought, was just spectacular most of the night. ... I love what we're doing and the pace we're playing."
Illinois coach Brad Underwood after the Illini outscored Michigan 11-2 in transition