Illini Beat Down Wildcats

Twenty eight wins in a row. One game away from their second straight outright Big Ten Regular Season Championship. A week off until their next game against Purdue on Thursday night in Champaign (Senior Night). The Illini are sitting pretty after their dismantling of Northwestern 84-48 on Wednesday night.

On Wednesday night, the Illini had a simple task: defeat Northwestern and clinch a share of the Big Ten Championship. The Illini responded and simply beat down Northwestern 84-48 clinching at minimum a share of the Big Ten Regular Season Championship. The Illini can clinch their second consecutive Big Ten Championship with a victory over Purdue next Thursday night.

Wednesday night in Champaign, the Fighting Illini gave Northwestern a beat down that has only been seen by the likes of Ed DeCellis. Even Tom Izzo and Skip Prosser have not received beat downs to the level the Northwestern Wildcats did at the hands of the Fighting Illini. To show how much the Illini dominated the game from start to finish, the Illini jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game, and outside of a slight hiccup at 9-5, the Illini never lead by less than six throughout the rest of the game. In fact, after the 4:31 mark in the first half, the Illini never lead by less than 20 points on the contest.

Just how dominant were the Illini? Four of the Illini's five starters scored in double figures. Only James Augustine was unable to break the ten point mark on the evening, but he only took four shots. Roger Powell, Jr. recorded a double double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, six offensive. All of this was done in a game when no Illinois starter played more than 30 minutes. Dee Brown lead Illinois with 20 points, 18 on six-for-eight shooting from behind the arc, five in the first half.

There are so many different ways to describe a beat down like this with numbers, but I will continue to use the efficiency numbers that IlliniBoard has relied on all season.

Offensive Efficiency: 139.07
Defensive Efficiency: 76.62
Points per Shot Attempt Adjusted (Illinois): 1.44
Points per Shot Attempt Adjusted (Northwestern): 0.83
These numbers go along with what every one witnessed on the court, a simple beating giving by the Illini to the Wildcats on both sides of the court. The Illini were able to cut through the Northwestern defense (zone or man-to-man) and the Illini defense was able to stop the Princeton offense like it was a high school offense.

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