By the time March rolls around, most people won’t remember many college basketball games from mid-November. But that doesn’t make the pain of Wednesday night’s loss any easier for the Illini.
With one loss already, Illinois played Providence looking for an upset. The game itself was entertaining, if low scoring, and came down to the final possession. The Illini had the ball with less than 15 seconds left and down only one.
They had not one, not two, but three chances at the win.
WHAT A FINISH! Illinois misses 2 shots at the rim, @PCFriarsmbb wins 60-59. What a game! #GavittTipoffGames https://t.co/kzlMyEEQk9 — FS1 (@FS1) November 19, 2015
The first two looks at the game-winner were clearly Illinois’ best chances. Malcolm Hill had a contested, but realistic look at a layup, followed by a missed put-back dunk off the back rim by Michael Finke. With the final seconds ticking off, Hill had another look with a deep three that fell short.
The season is long and the Illini have plenty of time to recover, but a win on the road against a team like Providence would have looked fantastic on their resume.