Big Ten Tourney Gameday - Indiana v. Illinois

A berth in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals is on the line tonight when third-seeded Indiana (20-9/10-6) takes on sixth-seeded Illinois (22-10/9-7) at 9:10 p.m. EST at the United Center in Chicago. The two teams split their regular season meetings, with Illinois handling Indiana 51-43 in Champaign and the Hoosiers bouncing back with a 65-61 win in Bloomington.

Game Particulars: Indiana (20-9/10-6 Big Ten) vs. Illinois (22-10/9-7 Big Ten)
A pair of seemingly NCAA Tournament-bound teams will square off in the last of four quarterfinal round match-ups at the United Center at 9:10 p.m. Indiana appears safely in the NCAA field thanks to its third-place finish in the Big Ten and its 20-win regular season, while the Illini likely solidified their tournament credentials with yesterday's 66-60 win over Penn State. Illinois got 21 points from Chester Frazier in the win and managed to overcame seven 3-pointers from the Nittany Lions' Mike Walker. The winner of the IU-Illinois encounter will meet the winner of the Wisconsin-Michigan State match-up at 4:05 p.m. Saturday.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns an 20-9 record in Bloomington and a 475-266 career mark in 23-plus seasons. Illinois, meanwhile, is coached by Bruce Weber, who in his 4th year at the helm of the Illini program and 9th year as a head coach. Weber owns a 111-26 record at Illinois and a 214-80 mark overall.

The game will be televised by ESPN-Plus, with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and Shon Morris (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2006-07 Schedule

Illinois 2006-07 Schedule

#3 Indiana (20-9/10-6 Big Ten)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 9.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.3 apg,1.3 spg, 49.4% FG shooting
SG-Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 9.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg, 41.2% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Roderick Wilmont (6-4, 205, Sr.) – 12.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.1 spg, 40.7% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 6.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 13.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 51.8% FG shooting

#6 Illinois (22-10/9-7 Big Ten)
PG- Chester Frazier (6-2, 190, So.) – 7.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.5 apg, 31.4% 3 pt. shooting
SG –Rich McBride (6-3, 205, Sr.) – 10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 35.4% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Brian Randle (6-8, 220, Jr.) – 7.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 52.2% FG shooting
PF – Warren Carter (6-9, 220, Sr.) – 13.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 bpg, 48.2% FG shooting
C – Shaun Pruitt (6-10, 245, Jr.) – 11.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 54.9% FG shooting

Indiana 2006-07 Statistics

Illinois 2006-07 Statistics

How does Indiana counteract Illinois' length? – Illinois is a tough match-up for the Hoosiers because of their length. In Brian Randle and Warren Carter, the Illini have a couple of 6-9, 220-pound forwards who are very good in transition, can step outside and shoot the jumper and post up smaller defenders. The size advantage also makes Illinois a tough assignment on the glass – Illinois out-rebounded its opponents by 5.4 rebounds/game this season, but IU battled them to a near draw in both of the previous meetings. The biggest question for Indiana is what to do at the "4" position. Mike White started the Penn State game and played 29 minutes so he's one option. Lance Stemler started the first meeting in Champaign, while Xavier Keeling got the start in the game in Bloomington. Both Keeling and Stemler are a little more mobile, making them possibilities as well. There's little question that this is Indiana's biggest defensive concern for Friday night.

Who wins the Earl Calloway vs. Chester Frazier match-up? Kelvin Sampson says point guards could very well determine the winner of seemingly toss-up games like this match-up, so keep an eye on the Calloway vs. Frazier encounter. Frazier entered the Big Ten mired in a miserable shooting slump, going just 3-of-25 in his last five games. But he bounced back with a 21-point effort in Thursday's victory against Penn State, and his contributions are huge for an Illini offense that has been relying a great deal on its frontcourt for point production. Calloway, meanwhile, is still battling a shoulder ailment, but his 15-point, 11-assist effort in the season finale against Penn State gives Sampson and IU fans reason to be optimistic that he'll be able to overcome any discomfort and play extended minutes tonight. Points won't be easy to come by in this contest, so anything either point guard can produce in transition will be huge to their respective team's cause.

Can Indiana knock down eight or more shots from behind the 3-point arc? There's no secret to Indiana's offensive success – its ability to knock down shots from behind the 3-point arc. The Hoosiers were the Big Ten's best from 3-point range this season both in terms of quantity (8.0/game) and quality (a Big Ten-best 38.7 percent), and they'll need to be on against the Illini Friday night. Indiana has a wealth of options to turn to – A.J. Ratliff, Roderick Wilmont and Armon Bassett have been consistent weapons from deep, while both Earl Calloway and Lance Stemler were on target in the season finale against Penn State. But the 3-pointers have been much harder to come by against Illinois. In the loss in Champaign IU was just 5-of-17 from deep, and then in IU's win in Bloomington it was just 3-of-9. The Hoosiers chances will go up exponentially if they can match their average production from deep. Top Stories