Illinois is grinding down the home stretch of the basketball season, hopefully toward the goal of an NCAA Tournament berth.
Meanwhile, coach John Groce and wife Allison are in the final days before the birth of their third child. The Tribune’s Shannon Ryan wrote a terrific story about the stay-or-go-home decision Groce may have to to make at some point as the postseason collides with more important family matters.
Allison Groce’s due date is March 18, but she plans to be induced two days prior if the couple’s third child, and first daughter, hasn’t arrived yet. The Big Ten tournament is in Chicago March 11-15. The NCAA tourney begins with play-in games in Dayton, Ohio, March 17 and 18; the Illini, right on the bubble as of now, could be tabbed to play there. The National Invitation Tournament, another possible destination for the Illini, also begins March 17.
“The only concern I feel is to be present,” the 43-year-old coach told Ryan. “I want to be and I hope that I can be, but I also understand the timing of this may require me not to be.”