March 16, 2001; Illinois vs. Northwestern State (1st round NCAA Tournament)
The early 2000’s was the golden age of Illinois basketball. They were consistently winning games and making the NCAA Tournament year after year.
Illinois made the 2001 NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed and their first matchup was against No. 16 seed Northwestern State.
Illinois Fighting Illini
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The Illini came out in this game playing tough defense and shooting the ball at a clip the Golden State Warriors couldn’t keep up with.
Illinois held Northwestern State to 33-percent shooting from the field and only 54 points on the day. That wasn’t the most impressive thing about this game, though.
The Illini set a school NCAA Tournament record that day that still stands today. They scored 96 points in the rout of Northwestern State.
Illinois had 6 players score in double figures that day with Marcus Griffin leading the way with 16 points. He also added in another 6 rebounds as well.
Damir Krupalija and Robert Archibald both came off the bench and scored 12 points and 11 points, respectively.
This was a special team that entered the NCAA Tournament as a veteran bunch. I wish I could have witnessed this greatness in person, but I was stuck with just watching it on the television.