John Groce's teams have a way turning it on for the postseason.
In Groce's four seasons at Ohio, the Bobcats went to the NCAA tournament twice, racking up wins over Georgetown in 2010 and Michigan in 2012 before losing a close one to North Carolina in the Sweet 16.
He's about to find out if his Illinois Illini have that kind of postseason fire in them.
Illinois (21-11, 8-10 Big Ten) opens the Big Ten tournament Thursday as the No. 8 seed against No. 9 Minnesota. With wins over Indiana, Gonzaga and Ohio State among its 21 victories, Illinois is a good bet to get to the NCAA tournament, but a win or two in Chicago couldn't hurt and might help build momentum for a team that lost three of its last four regular-season games.
Those Ohio teams that made noise in March started by winning the MAC tournament in both 2010 and 2012.
Groce, in his first year at Illinois, didn't have a very clear answer for questions about what kind of mindset it took for those Bobcat teams to peak at the ri...