5 Things Illinois Basketball Must Do to Make the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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5 Things Illinois Basketball Must Do to Make the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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USA TODAY Sports- Brad Rempel

Head coach John Groce has been doing a pretty solid recruiting job with the Illinois Illini of late, although there were also the heartbreaking misses on Cliff Alexander and Jabari Parker. His on-court coaching has been a work in progress to put it nicely this season, and it appears that he has not quite reached this group yet

The main issue right now for Groce is simply trying to get his team to win games in the Big Ten; their ten losses to four wins so far is frankly a bit embarrassing, and so to be talking about them playing in the postseason is certainly a stretch. They are also currently ranked 337th nationally in assists per game, which is a mark that needs to improve if they have any hope at all.

Rayvonte Rice is having an excellent year, but other than him there is only one other player on the roster scoring in double figures. If they were at least scoring efficiently, then it would not matter; however, their .407 shooting percentage as a team shows that they are not able to make that happen at the moment either.

It will certainly take a Herculean effort for the impossible to happen, and it is not likely in any respect. It is possible though, so here are the five things that need to happen in order for the Illini to be dancing in March. Some of them might seem a bit ridiculous, but stay with me and I will do my best to talk you through this grieving process. It works a lot better if you just rip it off like a bandage.

Dave Daniels is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter: @AllDave_AllDay, like him on Facebook here or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Pray to the Deity of Their Choice

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USA TODAY Sports- Brad Rempel

We already went through a lot of the main reasons it is not likely the Illini will make tournament, but praying never hurt anybody. It probably will not change their record, but you never know what a little divine intervention could accomplish.

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4. Win Out the Regular Season and Then Some

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USA TODAY Sports- Brad Rempel

If the Illini win every game left in their regular season schedule it would still not be enough, and they would need to get at least one more win in the conference tournament as well to complete their resume. Come to think of it, that might not even be enough in the end.

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3. Get Jabari Parker to Change Teams

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USA TODAY Sports- Matthew Oharen

It is honestly a shame that Illinois did not change coaches at an earlier time, because Groce might have had a chance at landing Parker. Obviously, that is not a possibility anymore with Parker playing in Durham, but it is still fun to contemplate.

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2. Have Superman Hyper Speed Around the Earth

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USA TODAY Sports- Matthew Oharen

Okay, promise that this is the last one that is joking a bit. Superman does not use his powers to affect the mere outcome of basketball seasons, so this one is a ridiculous premise to begin with.

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1. Win the Conference Tournament

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USA TODAY Sports- Matthew Oharen

Okay, enough monkey business for one day. Let's get real for a second here; the Illini lost eight straight games in the middle of their Big 10 schedule, and unless they can win against the three ranked opponents left on their schedule then they will be on the outside looking in. One thing is for sure; they will need several minor miracle to be playing meaningful basketball in March.

Dave Daniels is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter: @AllDave_AllDay, like him on Facebook here or add him to your network on Google.

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