Nov. 15—What happened
Marquette left the door open for an upset Tuesday night at State Farm Center. The Golden Eagles might have gotten to the rim at will, but missing 13 combined dunks and layups gave Illinois a chance. But it was an opportunity the Illini couldn't take advantage of, with just a single made shot in the final 4 minutes and nobody scoring but Terrence Shannon Jr.
What it means
Illinois will have more opportunities against top 10 teams in the next month. The kind of signature win that was in short supply last season. But the Illini could have put a check in that box against Marquette in an arena packed to the rafters with fans trying to will it to happen. How the Golden Eagles won, though, puts potential FAU and Tennessee upsets in question.
New Valparaiso coach Roger Powell Jr. should receive a warm welcome from the State Farm Center crowd on Friday night when he brings the Beacons to Champaign. The former Illinois forward remains a fan favorite for his role on the 2004-05 national runners-up. The basketball itself probably won't be as kind to Powell given how big an underdog Valparaiso will be.
What was said
"That was a heck of a game for Nov. 14. That was about as physical of a basketball game the second week of he season that I've been a part. Terrence Shannon and Ty Rodgers, their physicality is something else. I would guess we'll probably have a lot of bumps and bruises after that game, but our guys did a good job of standing up to Illinois the best we could." — Marquette coach Shaka Smart