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Illini-Tar Heels Full-Court Vision: Live Blogging, Commentary & Analysis


10:32 p.m. Update: Illinois wins 79-67.

Illinois led by seven points at the half due to its three-point shooting but won this game in the second half because of the inside play of its senior big men, Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale.

Davis had a huge second half, finishing with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, while Tisdale was also large, adding 14 points and getting his half-hook to fall after struggling with this shot in previous games.

It’s rare when Davis and Tisdale are simultaneously clicking on offense as they were in the second half tonight, and Illinois is a much different team when their senior big boys come to play.

Demetri McCamey ran another beautiful show, scoring 17 points, dishing out 9 assists and limiting his turnovers until late, when he had a few gaffes with the game under control.

Jereme Richmond and D.J. Richardson also sparked the Illini, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.

While Carolina is down, Illinois was certainly impressive, especially when considering that Brandon Paul (arguably the team’s second best player at this point of the season) did not score and only had three shots on the night.

Give the coaching staff a lot of credit: Illinois was three-point reliant in the first half and pounded the ball on the interior in the second half.

All in all, I can’t wait to review the game tape tomorrow morning.

Until then, celebrate safely Illini fans. 10:16 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 75-62 at the under-4.

McCamey scores 5 big points in this stretch.

Barring a monumental collapse, the Illini have this game.

Could my 83-72 prediction from earlier this afternoon ring true?

10:07 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 66-55 at the under-8 timeout.

Carolina is on a mini 5-0 run.

Prior to this little spurt, Illinois had extended its lead on three-point plays by Tisdale and Davis.

The Illini big man have been large in the second half.

Now the team needs to be for another seven minutes!

9:54 p.m. Update: Illinois has extended its lead to 58-43 at the under-12 timeout.

The Illini are playing with great urgency while Carolina is on the ropes.

It’s time to put this team away.

What a huge four minutes for both teams.

9:45 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 49-36 out of the under-16 in second half.

The Illini have 10 interior points at the start of the half, a great swing following a first half where the Tar Heels had their way down low.

9:28 p.m. Update: Illinois leads 37-30 at the break after a D.J. Richardson corner three at the horn.

The three ball out of the transition has proven to be the equalizer for Illinois (5-8 from three), which is getting killed on the glass (UNC with a 21-13 advantage, 8-2 on the offensive glass).

Tyler Zeller missed most of the first half with three fouls, but John Henson (10 points) destroyed Illinois with his length.

Demetri McCamey (12 points, 5 assists), Richardson (9 points) and Jereme Richmond (8 points) are pacing the Illini thus far.

This looks like it’s going to be a back-and-forth second half.

Illinois needs to tighten things up on the defensive interior, or this game could turn in favor of UNC, which is still alive despite Zeller’s foul trouble, abysmal outside shooting (1-7 from three) and more than 10 turnovers.

9:09 p.m.

Under-8 Timeout

  • Barnes makes the free throw.
  • Illinois comes out with Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis, D.J. Richardson, Mike Tisdale and Brandon Paul.
  • Richardson blows by a UNC defender but misses a layup.
  • Mike Davis just missed a steal in passing lane.
  • John Henson hits a turnaround over Davis.
  • Davis rattles out a baseline jumper. Leslie McDonald misses a driving layup.
  • McCamey pushes and hits Davis for a dunk. Beautiful bounce pass.
  • Nice active hands from D.J. leads to a steal.
  • D.J. hits a corner three.
  • Richardson picks up a foul.
  • Meyers Leonard is in.
  • Justin Knox hits a layup out of an Illinois trap.
  • Good trap, bad help on weak side.
  • Richmond misses a tough pull up.
  • Paul is slow to close out as Barnes hits a three.
  • Richmond backs in Barnes and hits a right-handed hook.
  • Knox with a layup. Pace is picking up.
  • McCamey drills a three off a curl screen.
  • This will be reviewed. Might have been a two.
  • Illinois leads 31-26 as of now with 3:35 remaining.
  • Make that 30-26. It was a two.
  • Television timeout.
  • McCamey with 10 points.

9:16 p.m. Update

Under-4 Timeout:

  • Henson misses a tough fade over Leonard.
  • Paul is loose with the ball, leading to turnover.
  • Henson scores after keeping an UNC possession alive.
  • Illinois is getting killed down low.
  • Leonard misses a baseline hook.
  • Mike Davis with the rebound.
  • Davis hits a tough fade away.
  • Carolina gets several offensive rebounds, but Larry Drew III misses a jumper.
  • Foul on Dexter Strickland.
  • Illinois brings D.J. back in.
  • Leonard one and one – badly misses front end.
  • Illinois has McCamey, Richardson, Leonard, Cole and Davis in.
  • Henson blows by Leonard, scoring a reverse and leading to the foul.
  • Leonard looks a bit lost and is replaced by Tisdale.
  • Henson misses the free throw. Illinois up two.
  • McCamey is fouled on a nice dribble drive to the rim with 1:30 to go.
  • McCamey with two at the line and hits them both.
  • Illinois takes a timeout.

9:20 p.m. Update

Out of Illinois Timeout

  • Illinois leads 34-30 with 1:30 to go.
  • Henson and McCamey are players of game thus far.
  • Nice help by Tisdale deflecting a Carolina pass out of bounds.
  • Backside was wide open on that drive. Tisdale saved a basket.
  • North Carolina is called for a travel on a nice dribble drive.
  • 1:00 exactly remaining in the half.
  • Big minute here.
  • Davis with a bad high low pass to Tisdale.
  • Ball out of bounds to UNC.
  • D.J. on the floor knocking a Carolina ball into the back court.
  • Nice defense by Cole on Barnes. Good sliding of the feet.
  • Henson gets another offensive rebound but throws up a quick shot.
  • Richardson buries a corner three at the horn to give Illinois a 37-30 lead at the break.

9:44 p.m. Update

Second Half

Out of Halftime Update

  • Zeller back down Tisdale and misses.
  • Richmond with rebound (he starts second half).
  • Tisdale with a lob to Davis for a dunk.
  • Great pass.
  • Illinois with a 21-0 scoring advantage in back court.
  • Henson scores an easy layup as Davis gave up on help defense after nice dribble drive by Larry Drew III.
  • Richmond with a nasty baseline jam. Gorgeous. Passed up three and attacked the rim.
  • Zeller is fouled on the interior.
  • Zeller misses the first free throw.
  • And the second.
  • Illinois up 41-32.
  • Tisdale hits half hook over Zeller.
  • Nice patience.
  • Strickland scores on a nice drive. Poor containment by D.J.
  • McCamey misses a high-arching jumper early in shot clock.
  • Richmond is called for a foul on the floor against a driving Barnes.
  • Nice defense by Davis on a screen, showing on Drew and poking the ball away.
  • Richardson is fouled after coming up with the ball.
  • Tisdale rattles home another baseline hook (nice post feed from Richmond).
  • Zeller with a strong basket inside (plus the foul on McCamey, his first).
  • Zeller misses another free throw.
  • McCamey’s entry pass to Tisdale is stolen by Zeller.
  • UNC turns it back.
  • Illinois with great passing on 4-on-1 break, with Davis hitting D.J. for a layup.
  • Zeller is tied up by 3 Illini down low.
  • Possession to the Illini.
  • Davis misses an elbow jumper.
  • Strickland misses a pull up.
  • Henson with the rebound.
  • Davis steals the ball from Henson.
  • Richmond scores inside (goal tend on UNC).
  • Illinois leads 49-36 at the under-16.

9:53 p.m. Update

Under-16 Timeout

  • Bullock hits a floater.
  • Tisdale hits a three from the top of the key.
  • Big second half from the big man.
  • McCamey steals the ball, misses a quick pull up but taps the rebound with one hand to Davis, who is fouled on a dunk attempt.
  • Davis hits the first as Illinois takes a 53-38 lead.
  • Richmond takes a seat for Cole.
  • Davis misses the second.
  • Marshall hits a three.
  • Cole’s interior pass to Tisdale is stolen.
  • Marshall with a nice feed inside to Knox, who makes the hoop plus the foul.
  • Davis with a nice rebound of missed free throw. Illinois by ten.
  • Tisdale rebounds a McCamey missed but misses the pull up.
  • Bullock misses a quick jumper.
  • Cole hits a three in the secondary transition.
  • Illinois is 7-10 from three tonight.
  • McCamey is replaced by Paul.
  • Good defense by Richardson, who moves his feet and forces a Marshall travel.
  • Paul playing the point.
  • Cole has the ball knocked out of bounds.
  • Leonard in the game.
  • Richardson hits Leonard in the screen-and-roll game for a dunk.
  • Illinois gets on the floor again for a loose ball.
  • Possession again to the Illini.
  • Wow! This team didn’t get on the floor last year.
  • Great hustle by Cole and Leonard.
  • D.J. misses a corner three.
  • Marshall misses a three.
  • Cole is fouled on the rebound. Got pushed from behind.
  • Illinois leads 58-43 at the under-12.

10:06 p.m. Update

Under-12 Timeout

  • Paul misses a three and hasn’t scored yet.
  • Great hustle by Meyers Leonard, who taps the ball to Richardson.
  • Timeout Illinois.
  • Illinois comes out with Paul, Cole, D.J., Leonard, and Davis.
  • Illinois is running some good motion.
  • Paul misses a three with shot clock down.
  • Leonard almost tapped out another rebound.
  • McDonald hits a corner three.
  • Illinois up 58-46.
  • Still 10 minutes left.
  • Davis hits a nice one-handed floater to right baseline.
  • Pretty and patient move.
  • Henson hits the same shot as Davis, this time to the left side.
  • Leonard backs in Henson, loses his footing and travels.
  • Tisdale, McCamey and Richmond are in for the Illini.
  • Paul and Davis also remain on the court.
  • Great help defense by McCamey, who drops down on weak side to steal a Carolina pass after dribble penetration.
  • Davis misses a face-up jumper over Zeller.
  • Tisdale gets the rebound and hits a half hook plus the foul.
  • Tisdale hits free throw.
  • Illinois leads 63-48.
  • McDonald hits a baseline jumper over McCamey,
  • Tisdale with a high low feed to Davis, who scores plus the foul.
  • Man, Illinois is really pounding the ball inside this half.
  • What a beautiful thing to see!
  • Davis hits the free throw.
  • Barnes is fouled by Tisdale on a drive.
  • Foul occurred on the floor.
  • Assembly Hall has overrated chant going for Barnes, the first freshman to make pre-season All-America.
  • Justin Watts hits a corner three.
  • Tisdale is short on a half hook.
  • Henson hits a slicing layup.
  • Illinois leads 66-55.
  • Richmond’s pass to Tisdale is knocked out of bounds, leading to under-8 timeout.

10:16 p.m. Update

Under-8 Timeout

  • Illinois with McCamey, Leonard, D.J., Richmond and Davis in the game.
  • McCamey hits a ridiculous step-through jumper with the shot clock down.
  • Bullock misses and Illinois clears the board.
  • Davis is fouled down low by Dexter Strickland.
  • Illinois is in the bonus.
  • Davis makes the first. Nothing but net.
  • Davis hits the second free throw.
  • Illinois leads 70-55 with 6 minutes left.
  • Illinois is called for a foul and another one.
  • Drew is at the line for the one and one.
  • Drew makes the first and the second.
  • Davis hits another fade-away on the baseline.
  • McCamey with a nice defensive rebound.
  • Richmond misses a runner.
  • Strickland hits a layup plus the foul on Leonard.
  • Tisdale is in for Leonard.
  • Strickland misses a free throw. UNC has been terrible at the charity stripe in the second half.
  • Richmond posts and misses a half hook.
  • Zeller misses a chippie.
  • Richardson comes up with the rebound.
  • McCamey drills a three off a screen from Tisdale.
  • Bullock rattles home a three.
  • Tisdale wisely passes up a perimeter three to run some clock.
  • Illinois turns the ball over.
  • Tisdale fouls Strickland on the break, leading to the under-4 timeout.

10:18 p.m. Update

Under-4 Timeout

  • Strickland makes two free throws.
  • Illinois leads 75-64.
  • UNC picks up full-court.
  • Illinois with D.J., McCamey, Cole, Tisdale and Davis on the floor.
  • McCamey gets doubled in the Illini front court and takes a smart timeout with 2:52 to go and the Illini up 11 points.
  • Illinois has a 26-6 lead in the points-off-turnovers game.
  • Shot click is at six seconds.
  • Cole feeds Tisdale, who misses an open shot in the lane.
  • Cole picks up a bad foul, accidentally running into Henson’s leg.
  • Henson misses the first.
  • Illinois up 75-64 with 2:42 left.
  • Henson air balls the second.
  • Carolina has killed itself at the line in the second 20 minutes.
  • Illinois needs a bucket here.
  • Richardson splits an UNC trap under the basket and gets the ball into the front court.
  • Cole air balls a corner three.
  • Great transition defense by McCamey, who knocks the ball out of bounds from Barnes.
  • UNC will retain the ball.
  • Bruce Weber brings in Paul and Richmond for Cole and Richardson.
  • Tisdale picks up a bad foul while sliding his feet.
  • Tisdale is out, and Carolina will be at the line.
  • McCamey with 25 points, 18 assists and 3 turnovers in last 2 games.
  • Illinois needs to close this game out.
  • Barnes makes the first free throw.
  • Barnes makes the second.
  • 75-66 Illinois with 1:59 to go.
  • Richardson catches a break, with a terrible drive and dish.
  • Take the ball out and work some clock.
  • Davis hits a big push shot on the baseline.
  • Carolina misses a baseline jumper.
  • Cole rebounds but McCamey turns it over.
  • Carolina misses a close shot and knocks the ball out of bounds.
  • Paul is in for Richardson, who is shaky dribbling at times.
  • Illinois can’t get the ball inbound and takes a timeout.
  • Illinois leads 77-66 with 1:09 to go.
  • Illinois breaks the press, with Mike Davis getting a dunk with one minute left.
  • Strickland is fouled on the drive.
  • Richmond picks up his third foul.
  • Strickland hits one of two free throws.
  • Richmond rebounds.
  • McCamey loses the ball out of bounds, with it knocked off his shins in the front court.
  • Strickland air balls a three.
  • Carolina will not foul as Illinois runs out the clock.
  • I’ll give Roy Williams some credit there: he shows some class in not fouling and letting this game end.
  • Illinois wins 79-67.
  • Celebrate safely.

Until tomorrow, when I review the game tape and get some observations up on the site.