The Fighting Illini closed the first half on a 21-5 run. Tad Boyle must have lit a fire under his Buffaloes at half-time, though, as they came out of the locker room with a 21-2 run of their own. But Illinois would weather the storm, and do just enough, despite converting only three second-half field goals, to hold on for the win.
Brandon Paul’s seventeen points (marked by 9-of-10 shooting from the foul stripe) carried the Illini. D.J. Richardson and Tracy Abrams added fourteen and thirteen points, respectively.
Askia Booker led the Buffaloes with fourteen points, including 4-of-10 shooting from three-point range.
Illinois will next face second-seeded Miami on Sunday; a win would send them to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2005, the year they reached the NCAA Championship game before falling to North Carolina.
Wayne Larrivee and Reid Gettys called the action on Westwood One Sports.
(Richardson’s three-pointer gives Illinois a 31-21 lead)
(Abrams caps an end-of-first-half 21-5 Illini run from long range)
(Booker’s trey brings Colorado within 9 early in the second half)
(Scott’s running left-hander gives the Buffaloes a 40-39 lead)
(Paul’s late three leads a schizophrenic run to give Illinois a 48-44 lead and seal the game)
(Final call as Illinois advances to the 3rd Round with a 57-49 victory over Colorado)
(Postgame interview with Illinois’s D.J. Richardson)
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