No. 3 Indiana Beats Illinois 80-64 in Friday’s Big Ten Quarterfinals
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from Illinois Public Media
Cody Zeller scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 3 Indiana past Illinois 80-64 Friday in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
The top-seeded Hoosiers (27-5) are off to a good start after claiming their first outright conference title in two decades and earning a first-round bye.
They took control midway through the first half and withstood a mild push in the second, avenging a two-point loss at Illinois (22-12) last month. That set up a matchup with Michigan or Wisconsin in Saturday's semifinals.
Zeller had another big game after scoring a season-high 25 in a win at Michigan. He was 9 of 11 from the field and hit all six free throws.
"Had they not showed the resiliency and toughness that they did in the first half, we would have been down a lot more," said Illinois Coach John Groce. "I thought our defense was really good. Second half it flipped. I thought our offense was really good and defensively we weren't able to stop them in the second half. I thought they got too many layups, they got baskets in transition."
Victor Oladipo added 12 points and 11 rebounds and drew the loudest cheers with a 360-degree fastbreak dunk with 90 seconds left. The Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year, he also helped contain Brandon Paul.
Tracy Abrams and Brandon Paul led Illinois with 16 points apiece. Joseph Betrand chipped in 10.