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NCAA Hoops: Northwestern goes down in Madison

NCAA Hoops: Northwestern goes down in Madison

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Posted 7:39 p.m.

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin is perfect at home for the third time under Bo Ryan.

Jon Leuer scored 26 points and No. 12 Wisconsin beat Northwestern 78-63 in its regular-season home finale Sunday night, securing a perfect 16-0 record at the Kohl Center this season.

Jordan Taylor scored 16 points and Keaton Nankivil added 15 for Wisconsin (22-6, 12-4 Big Ten), which has won seven of its last eight overall. The Badgers finish the regular season with a pair of road games, at Indiana on Thursday and at Ohio State on Sunday.

Michael Thompson scored 19 and Davide Curletti added 18 for Northwestern (16-12, 6-11), which has lost two straight and four of its last six.

Wisconsin's student section chanted "Thank you, seniors" as Ryan emptied his bench in the final minute of the game. He's had three perfect home marks in 10 seasons with Wisconsin.

Northwestern seemed to be on the verge of being blown out at several points throughout the game, but managed to keep things close with strong outside shooting. The Wildcats made 11 of 21 3-pointers, with Thompson hitting five of six and John Shurna making four of seven.

Already leading by 13 at halftime, Wisconsin remained firmly in control to begin the second half - including a flashy play by Leuer, who snagged a sharp pass from Taylor out of the air and converted a two-handed reverse dunk to put the Badgers up 51-35 with 16:18 left in the game.

Northwestern relied on its outside shooting to keep the game within reach.

The Wildcats cut the Badgers' lead to 54-47 on a 3-pointer by Thompson with 12:25 left, and later cut the lead to 57-52 on a 3-pointer by Drew Crawford.

Northwestern finally hit a cold spell down the stretch, missing 3-pointers on critical back-to-back possessions. Taylor then nailed a 3-pointer on the other end, putting the Badgers up 63-55 with 5:35 left in the game.

Taylor later sealed the victory with another 3 to put Wisconsin up 70-59 with 3:00 left.

Wisconsin was coming off a last-second victory at Michigan on Wednesday, when Josh Gasser banked in a last-second three-pointer. Gasser had a triple-double in the Badgers' 78-46 victory at Northwestern on Jan. 23 but was a little more quiet on Sunday, scoring 10 points.

Northwestern was trying to rebound from a home loss to Penn State on Thursday night.

Wisconsin shot 65.4 percent from the field in the first half, but Northwestern managed to stave off a blowout by going 7-for-9 from 3-point range. The Wildcats trailed 43-30 at the half.

Box Score
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Illinois all alone in first place in Big Ten following last-second win over Michigan

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USA TODAY

Illinois all alone in first place in Big Ten following last-second win over Michigan

One school stands alone atop the Big Ten men's basketball standings: Illinois 

Saturday, the Fighting Illini (7-2, 15-5) scored a big road win against Michigan (2-6, 11-8). Morgan Park alumnus Ayo Dosunmu drilled a heavily contested, last-second midrange jumper, giving the Illini a 64-62 win over the Wolverines.

Dosunmu finished the game with a career-high 27 points.

After a 1-2 start to Big Ten play, Illinois has rattled off six straight conference wins. They're a half game ahead of Michigan State (6-2, 14-5) for first place. Next up: a matchup with Minnesota (5-4, 11-8) on Thursday in Champaign.

 

Illinois men's basketball cracks AP poll for first time in more than five years

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USA TODAY

Illinois men's basketball cracks AP poll for first time in more than five years

Illinois basketball has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2013 and has endured losing records in three of the last four seasons. However, things are looking up for the Fighting Illini.

Three straight Big Ten wins have the Illini 4-2 in the league, good for second place and the No. 24 spot in the latest AP poll. It’s the first time the Illini have been ranked since Dec. 2014.


Coach Brad Underwood went 26-39 in his first two seasons in charge, but things have turned around this season. A win against Michigan on Dec. 11 gave the Illini a marquee win, but losses to Missouri and Michigan State followed soon after. The current three-game winning streak has featured a blowout win against Purdue, a one-point win at Wisconsin and a three-point win against a surprisingly good Rutgers team.

Illinois’ RPI is currently 42 so they’re far from a lock to get in the tournament, but the Illini are in good shape as of now. The last season the Illini were ranked, they had to settle for an NIT bid.

Chicago native and Morgan Park High School product Ayo Dosunmu leads the team with 15.5 points per game.