The Illinois Fighting Illini dominated the entire first half and built a solid 12-point lead. In a situation that may have caused most teams to lay down and accept defeat, the Michigan Wolverines instead woke up and put together a furious comeback. The Wolverines held Illinois scoreless for over five and a half minutes and charged back to steal the quarterfinals victory.
Both of these teams are likely already in the field of 68 for the NCAA tournament, however, the win for Michigan all but punches their ticket to the Big Dance. The Fighting Illini had three players score double figures, led by Demetri McCamey with 10 points and 5 assists, but could not stave off the Michigan rally. Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr. led a 17-2 run for the Wolverines, scoring 17 and 16 points respectively. Hardaway Jr. in particular, hit several big shots down the stretch and finished 4 for 7 from behind the arc.
The Wolverines fittingly will face their bitter rivals and top ranked, Ohio St. Buckeyes in the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes slipped past the Northwestern Wildcats in a 67-61 overtime win earlier on Friday. Michigan and Ohio State will face off, Saturday, March 12th at 1:40 PM ET.