Big Ten Tournament Champs
In a rematch of last year's Big Ten Tournament
final, the Illinois Fighting Illini beat Wisconsin 54-43
. In beating Wisconsin for the third time this year, Illinois held the Badgers to 27 percent shooting and a season low for points.
Illinois played well, especially on the defensive end, but shot poorly, hitting only 36 percent of their shots (32 percent from behind the three-point arc). Illinois, which set a school record for wins in a season, had really only one question mark entering the post-season: post play. James Agustine
answered that question. He averaged a double-double in the tournament with 38 points and 31 rebounds in three games and was named Player of the Big Ten Tournament. Roger Powell
also had an excellent tournament. He was named player of the game in the final by CBS with 15 points and a career high 12 rebounds.
Their problems in the conference tournament were on the offensive end. In this blogger's opinion, the played fairly well but couldn't hit their shots. And, when Illini Wonk says they couldn't hit their shots, he means THEY COULDN'T HIT THEIR SHOTS.
Big Ten Conference player of the year, Dee Brown
was held scoreless, missing all eight of his shots, and only had 15 points over the three tournament games. Luther Head
, who joined Augustine on the all-tournament team, was 15 for 39 over the three games. Deron Williams
was 3-10 in the final after taking only 4 shots in the first two games.
The Illini became only the second Big Ten team to win both the regular season conference title and the conference tournament. They also won their second conference tournament in their fifth try. They have two rings in their posession and have one more to go.