Illinois-loving college basketball media survives Chattanooga during March Madness

Illinois Fighting Illini definitely had to fight in Round 64, as they found a way to sneak through Chattanooga to win.

Illinois Fighting Illini claimed the fourth seed in the Southern Division of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Their opponent in Round 64 is Chattanooga Mocs No. 13. Sure, it’s going to be a drama-free night, isn’t it?

Well, Illinois went into the second round with a 54-53 win over Chattanooga. But, that was the only time they took the lead in the whole game. Specifically, Fighting Illini only took the lead for the final 25 seconds of the game.

College basketball media reacted to Illinois sneaking through Chattanooga to advance to the Round of 32 for the second year in a row.

College Basketball Media Reacts to Illinois Survivor Chattanooga

Crediting in the recognition case is attributed to Chattanooga, who took the lead in the game’s first 39:35. But, the most important thing is who takes the lead after the final whistle blows.

The Woodman had the ultimate ownership of the game. Malachi Smith drove to the basket and tried to make a mess, but it was blocked by Coleman Hawkins. Smith gathered his rebound and attempted a two-point jump, but the ball bounced inside the rim and returned to the court, allowing Illinois to end the game.

Smith took the lead for the Mocs as he scored 14 points while shooting 5 of 21 from the field. He also scored eight rebounds and three steals.

Illinois junior center Kofi Cockburn clinched a double by scoring 17 points (6 for 12 from the field, 5 for 10 from the free-throw line) and won 12 rebounds.

After this dramatic victory, Illinois will focus on the team that took the No. 5 Houston and No. 12 UAB. The match of Round 32 will take place on Sunday, March 20.

For more NCAA Basketball For news, analysis, opinions and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action. Illinois-loving college basketball media survives Chattanooga during March Madness

John Verrall

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