Illini basketball buzzer beat Gophers; adding to BTT wins record


Illinois has the most all-time Big Ten Tournament wins with 23 and the second-best all-time BTT winning percentage. With a Brandon Paul buzzer beater today, they added to that record. It was ugly, ugly 51-49 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers, but it helps solidify the Illini basketball resume for the NCAAs. Brandon Paul was pretty much the entire team’s offense as he scored 25 including the dagger as time expired (watch video of it here). Illinois has reached/automatically qualified for the quarterfinals in every year of the tourney’s existence except last year.

The Illini have really struggled at the United Center lately. Prior to escaping with a win versus a very very bad Auburn team on December 29th, the Illini entered that contest having lost three in a row and five of six at the United Center, their supposed home away from home. But now the Illini have won two in a row at the UC. They’re beginning a new streak.

Illini basketball has won nine of their last ten BTT games played at the United Center. Today’s  and they’re also now 16-5 all-time in BTT games at the United Center.

Illini basketball is also 16-5 in BTT games when seeded higher. The Illini and Minnesota Golden Gophers last played in the BTT in 2008, a 54-50 victory by the 10th-seeded Illini basketball over the sixth-seeded Gophers in the semifinals. That was during the Demetri McCamey coming out party. Also very low scoring, like today.

Updated stats:

All-Time Series Record: Illini basketball leads 118-64
Series Record in Big Ten Tournament: Illinois leads 5-0

Illini RPI 43 SOS 9 Gophers RPI 24 SOS 2

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He’s an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter and Yardbarker

Banks has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks)

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  1. Illini solidify NCAA resume with win over Gophers says:

    […] or #11 seed in NCAA Tournament resume right now. Beating Minnesota 51-49 today on a Brandon Paul buzzer beater in the Big Ten Tournament truly helps as the Gophers have an RPI of 24 and the nation's second highest strength of schedule. […]

  2. Illini Guard Brandon Paul: quite confident in his scoring ability says:

    […] In the Illini Big Ten Tournament victory over the Gophers, Paul was almost literally half of Illinois’ total scoring (25/49 points) So when Paul told the media today just how confident he is in his own scoring ability, he has the […]

  3. […] guard Brandon Paul beats the Gophers 51-49 with his buzzer beating jumper. The first game of the Big Ten Tournament ends in exciting fashion as Brandon Paul drills a […]

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