NCAA BK

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - 12:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Illini's Paul sinks Gophers at buzzer

Watch and listen to Gus Johnson's call on Brandon Paul's buzzer-beater.
Watch and listen to Gus Johnson's call on Brandon Paul's buzzer-beater.
Share This Story

   
 

CHICAGO (AP)

If he has hit a bigger shot than this, Brandon Paul couldn't remember it. He'd have a hard time matching it.

Paul nailed a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer and finished with 25 points to lead Illinois to a 51-49 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.

''I didn't want to lose. We worked too hard to get to this point,'' Paul said. ''This team has so much character. My mindset was just to be aggressive. Coach told me to stay aggressive. I basically wanted to attack on offense and do other things. I'm more excited about I didn't turn the ball over today.''

Illinois (22-11) led by as much as 12 but was trailing by three when D.J. Richardson nailed a 3 with 47 seconds left to tie it at 49. That basket came after the Illini missed four shots on the possession.

The Gophers (20-12) had a chance to win it, but Austin Hollins stepped on the sideline after catching an inbounds pass with 14 seconds left. Paul then went the other way and pulled up left of the free throw line for the winner as time expired, sending the eighth-seeded Illini to the quarterfinals Friday against top-seeded and third-ranked Indiana.

Paul was the only player to score in double figures for the Illini, who shot just 32.1 percent and were outrebounded 38-26. They pulled this one out, anyway, because they had more offensive rebounds (12) than Minnesota (11) and committed just six turnovers while the Gophers had 19.

Coach John Groce said he was ''50-50'' about calling a timeout before the winning shot but ''decided to ride with it.''

CBK CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS

HERE'S A TIP

Check out the latest scores and automatic bid winners from all the conference tournaments.

''The big thing that we were trying to do there is make sure he didn't go until between five and seven on the game clock because we wanted to make sure we got the last shot,'' Groce said.

Now, they'll get Indiana again, a team they beat last month. The Gophers will have to wait and see what's next.

Austin Hollins, who thought he might have been pushed on that out of bounds play, led Minnesota with 16 points. Andre Hollins added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Gophers, who still are a good bet for the NCAA tournament even though it's been a disappointing stretch for a team that was ranked No. 8 at one point.

''I think we have a good resume,'' coach Tubby Smith said after his team's third consecutive loss and seventh in 10 games. ''We haven't played well of late, but when you look at the entire body of work . but it's not up to us. It will be a sweat-it-out type of thing.''

Illinois was leading 32-22 early in the second half when Minnesota went on a 19-4 run.

The Gophers scored 10 in a row, getting back-to-back 3-pointers by Andre Hollins and a three-point play by Andre Ingram to tie it before Nnanna Egwu scored on a put-back for Illinois. Minnesota continued to pour it on, though, and Austin Hollins finished the run by hitting three free throws to make it 41-36 with 8:35 remaining.

It remained tight right up until Paul hit that jumper at the end, sending a loud roar through the arena.

That came after a huge basket by Richardson, who had missed two 3-pointers on that possession before tying it. He was just 2 of 12 in the game but delivered the end.

''My teammates found me, I kept shooting,'' Richardson said. ''I'm a shooter, that's what coach wanted me to do. I didn't think about (the missed shots).''

All that came after a first half that was nothing short of ugly.

Paul scored 12 as Illinois built a 25-16 lead despite hitting just 9 of 24 shots, but as bad as things were for them, multiply it a few times for Minnesota.

The Gophers were 6 of 22 with 11 turnovers, and that barely tells the story. They got outscored 19-2 over a 12-minute stretch after jumping out to a 7-2 lead and went nearly eight minutes without a point.

''It's not a feeling that you want to go into Selection Sunday,'' Andre Hollins said. ''We haven't played our best basketball these past three games. We still want to have faith. We have a pretty good resume. A tough strength of schedule, a good RPI.

Tagged: Illinois, Minnesota, D.J. Richardson, Brandon Paul, Austin Hollins

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..