Once again, the Illini fought a good fight, but they finally suffered a knockout blow.
At 36-1 and No. 1 almost all season, Illinois didn't come this far not to take the whole thing.
Some 16 years after he got the Illini in NCAA trouble, Illinois fans still haven't forgiven Bruce Pearl.
For seven star-kissed weeks, being No. 1 was a lark for Illinois. Not any more.