The Illinois basketball team took on the Miami Hurricanes on Monday night for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
I was expecting the Illini to come into this game and come away with a win. In fact, I believe we needed to win this game based on the upcoming schedule. That didn’t happen, though.
Illinois started this game off in the worst way possible. About three and a half minutes into the game, Miami already had a 12-5 lead. That lead would extend rapidly. The Hurricanes hit their first 10-point lead just over five minutes into the game at 17-7.
With 10 minutes to go in the first half, Miami would get the lead up to 20 points at 31-11. This was such an ugly stretch for the Illini. We fought back, though. While the score almost got up to a 30-point deficit, the Illini managed to get it back to a 19-point game at halftime.
Miami would extend the lead to 22 points early in the second half, but Illinois wasn’t done. We showed resolve and with 7:07 left in the game, the Illini were only down nine points. That deficit continued to get chipped away until, with 46-seconds remaining, Illinois pulled within one point.
Sadly, thanks to an offensive foul, Illinois couldn’t manage to take the lead. Miami came away with the win 81-79.
Here are three observations from the Illini loss to Miami.