NCAA Tournament: Illinois Fighting Illini No Longer a Bubble Team

By Joseph Nardone
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

13 days.

That was how many days ago the Illinois Fighting Illini were fighting to just stay on the bubble. At the time, Illinois was coming off a three game losing streak and heading into a two game stretch against two of the Big 10‘s best. Not many had them coming away from those games with a victory, nevertheless four in a row, which has put them in the forefront of bubble discussion.

The Fighting Illini currently sit with a 19-8 overall record, and with three of their last five against cupcakes, I think it is safe to assume they are going to be asked to wear a pair of slippers in March. Funny, when you think about some of their bad losses we called deathblows, are now being referred to as learning experiences.

Unless Illinois has a complete breakdown in these final few games, the Fighting Illini are now playing for NCAA Tournament seeding. With the cupcakes left on their schedule, and the Big 10 Tournament still on the docket, Illinois can realistically finish their pre-tourney season with 22-25 wins. That is an insane about of victories for a team we had nearly written off two weeks ago.

I am not sure how good they actually are but Illinois is certainly playing some of the best basketball in the conference at the moment. If the Illini continue to ride this momentum through the regular and Big 10 postseasons, this could certainly be a dangerous squad to encounter come March.

So, what have you done in the last 13 days?

Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter machine @JosephNardone

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