Thoughts on an 80-64 victory over Illinois:
CHICAGO — Two D.J. Richardson free throws closed the gap to 60-52 with 8:17 to go, and you wondered: Would it happen again? Would the Illini make a late charge like they did all those weeks ago in Champaign and make a game of it after the Hoosiers had controlled it for so long?
Nope. Not this time, not this team. It was as close as Illinois would get the rest of the way, as Indiana simply wouldn’t allow for a collapse. It finished the game on a 20-12 run — enough for a comfortable 16-point victory and punctuated with a breakaway #nomee 360-degree slam from Victor Oladipo, who shut down a whining Brandon Paul (2-of-13) and posted yet another double-double (12 points, 11 boards).
Both teams would have difficulty adjusting to the United Center’s sight lines to begin the contest. By the second TV timeout, the Hoosiers and Illini were only a combined 5-of-19 from the floor. At half, the teams combined to shoot only 2-of-14 from distance. It was...