Illini off to hot start no one saw coming
CHAMPAIGN – Last weekend, Illinois’ surprising unbeaten start was 4.4 seconds away from running head-on into a wall.
Gardner-Webb, an opponent any Big Ten school is expected to beat at home, was up by two with the clock winding down on the strength of a banked-in 3-pointer, the kind of good-grief shot that tells the opponent it just might not be their night.
A season ago, Illinois probably would have cracked under that pressure. That team – essentially the same group of players – lost 12 of its last 14, missed the NCAA tournament and saw its coach fired.
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