Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/30/12
(Eds: Updates.) By DAVID MERCER Associated Press Last weekend, Illinois' surprising unbeaten start was 4.4 seconds away from running head-on into a wall. Gardner-Webb, an opponent any Big Ten school is expected to beat at home, was up by two with the clock winding down on the strength of a banked-in 3-pointer, the kind of good-grief shot that tells the opponent it just might not be their night. A season ago, Illinois probably would have cracked under that pressure. That team - essentially the same group of players - lost 12 of its last 14, missed the NCAA tournament and saw its coach fired. Not this time. Senior forward Tyler Griffey, just a minute or so removed from a bad miss that could have drained his confidence, buried a long 3 for the win. The Illini (8-0) woke up the next day ranked 22nd in the country. So far they've won the Maui Invitational title, blowing out Butler in the championship, and are averaging 11 3-pointers a game. That's more than any team in the country, ...
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Stephen Curry offers reminder that basketball means very little

INTERPOL targets former FIFA officials, sports execs

Cam Newton fulfills promise to mother, graduates from Auburn

LeSean McCoy testy with media over questions about Chip Kelly

It’s time for Jimmy Garoppolo to step up and do his job

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Phil Jackson is the architect of a Finals contender

Marcus Mariota 'eating up' Tennessee Titans offense

Eagles insider: Tebow 'has a ways to go' after Tuesday OTA

Cromartie: Richard Sherman is a product of Seahawks system

Prince Shembo’s girlfriend says he was jealous of dog

Bruce Arians: Talk of Daryl Washington a 'waste of breath'

Tiger talks state of his game, cracks joke about imitating son’s swing

'BQSTQN' Bruins and other Stanley Cup engraving mistakes

2015 NBA Finals preview: Key players for Cavaliers, Warriors

Cavaliers NBA Finals banner showcases injured players

Yankees now the favorite in American League East

Blackhawks-Lightning Stanley Cup Final: Key matchups

JR Smith shares photo calling Bruce Jenner a 'science project'

Joey Gallo arrives in Texas

Dinosaur in Chicago won't wear Blackhawks jersey this year

Can these struggling contenders get back in the playoff picture?

Texas recruit 'tanks academics' so he can play for Oklahoma?

Indians bullpen holds Brandon Moss' 100th homer ball ransom

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cam Newton fulfills promise to mother, graduates from Auburn

2015 NBA Finals preview

Yankees now the AL East favorite

Joey Gallo arrives in Texas

USA Women’s World Cup: No excuse not to win

Projecting rosters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game

What Peterson's return means

The Bulls and the culture of fitting in

X-factors for Cavs and Warriors

Pujols: Angels not 'Mike Trout show'

Adrian Peterson returns to Vikings

Chicago Bulls agree to deal with Fred Hoiberg

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.