Cliff Alexander broke Illini hearts, but it was still a great day for Chicago hoops.
Brandon Paul scored 14 points and No. 13 Illinois earned a 72-64 win over Western Carolina on Tuesday.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points and Evan Smotrycz added 13, helping Michigan (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) remain unbeaten at home with a 70-61 win over Illinois on Sunday.
Bubble Insider examines the critical games that made or broke bubble teams' chances.
Illinois forward Mike Davis broke his ankle in a voluntary morning practice session on Tuesday, forcing him to withdraw from the USA Basketball World University Game team trials.
Illinois 69, Vanderbilt 63
A judge on Tuesday dismissed a pair of lawsuits that claimed the University of Illinois broke state law when it shelved its American Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek.
Dee Brown scored 17 points and freshman Jamar Smith had 16 as Illinois extended its home winning streak to a school-record 32 games with a 77-53 win over Minnesota.
Dee Brown broke out of his shooting slump with 18 points and had eight assists to lead No. 5 Illinois to a 58-47 victory over Northwestern on Saturday.
James Augustine scored 15 points and Illinois broke the game open with an 18-4 run in the second half en route to a 61-42 victory over Coppin State.
Once Dee Brown broke his foot before the NBA draft, everyone knew he'd be the leader for Illinois.
Dee Brown made it official Monday -- he'll return to Illinois for his senior season.
Illinois guard Dee Brown broke his right foot during a game at the NBA pre-draft camp on Wednesday, likely forcing the junior to withdraw from the NBA draft, Brown told ESPN.com.
North Carolina 75, Illinois 70
Illinois lost its most consistent player when Deron Williams broke his jaw during Thursday night's win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.