5 huge observations from the Illinois basketball win over Iowa State

The wait to get back to the Elite 8 is finally over, as the Illinois basketball team managed to hold on against No. 2 seed Iowa State on Thursday night.
Illinois v Iowa State
Illinois v Iowa State / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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3. The Illini survived a bad Marcus Domask game

Sometimes great players just have bad games at the wrong time. Did you know, Michael Jordan once went 3-of-18, 16.7%, from the field in the Eastern Conference Finals? The Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks by 20 points in that game.

Now, Marcus Domask obviously isn’t Jordan, but the sentiment is the same. Players just have bad games, and when you have great team chemistry and culture as the Illini have, the players can rally around and pick him up when he is down.

Domask laid an egg against Iowa State on Thursday. He finished the game with seven points, six rebounds, and five assists, which are solid numbers. But Domask also had four turnovers on the night and went 2-of-11 from the field and missed all four three-point attempts.

Even though Domask had a bad night, he is still effective. There were multiple times he drew a double-team from the defense, and this opened up his teammates for shots. Domask’s playmaking ability makes him a threat, and that in itself helps the Illinois offense run well.

The silver lining to Domask playing poorly is the fact Illinois still came away with the win. We just survived one of our best players having one of his worst games of the season. Could you imagine what the score would have been if Domask just had a B or B+ game on Thursday night?

It is also good that Domask got this game out of the way. He has had bad games this season, but Domask usually rebounds well and puts up big numbers in the following game. We are going to need it against UConn.