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The Morning After: Illini Advnace, Bulls' Free-Fall Continues

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 13, 2010 4:30PM

College Basketball

  • Illinois may have managed to slip into the NCAA Tournament thanks to yesterday's 58-54 victory over No. 18 Wisconsin in the Big 10 tournament quarterfinals. Mike Tisdale led the Illini with 21 points as Illinois held off a Badger rally. With Illinois leading by 16 with less than seven minutes to go, Wisconsin managed to trim the lead to just two with 30 seconds left but Illinois hung on for the win. Next up for the Illini is No. 7 Ohio State in the semifinals (12:40 p.m., CBS).
  • Northwestern's odds at reaching the NCAA Tournament took a big hit with last night's 69-61 Big 10 quarterfinal loss to No. 5 Purdue. At 20-13, the Wildcats are likely looking at an NIT invite. John Shurna had 16 and Drew Crawford scored 15 for the Wildcats.
  • Notre Dame missed a last-second shot and fell to No. 6 West Virginia 53-51 in the Big East semifinals. Ben Hansbrough scored 17 for the Irish and Luke Harangody scored 10. In spite of the loss, the Irish figure to make it into the Field of 65 for next week.

Bulls Lose Seventh Straight
With their top three players - Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah - out of the lineup, last night's game figured to be a tough one to win. Sure enough, the Bulls lost for the seventh straight game, falling to Miami 108-95. There was even some of the bad blood between the two teams stirred up, topped off by Kirk Hinrich's ejection late in the fourth quarter. James Johnson and Jannero Pargo led the Bulls with 20 points each. The Bulls hung in the game for the first half, down just one at halftime, but the Heat pulled away in the third, extending their lead to double-digits. Things don't get any easier for the Bulls next week with match-ups against Dallas and Cleveland, but it all starts Tuesday at Memphis (7 p.m., CSN).

Spring Training
The Cubs and Sox both saw split-squad action. The first Sox squad topped the Angels 10-7 while the first Cubs was downed by the Brewers 12-3. But the other squads met up in Vegas to continue the preseason version of the Crosstown rivalry with the Cubs getting the better of the Sox this time 6-5.