WATCH: Illinois sinks Michigan as Ayo Dosunmu drills dagger in last second to give Illini sixth straight win
The Illini continue to surge as they win their sixth straight in Big Ten play with a big road win Saturday
Illinois sunk Michigan to claim its sixth consecutive Big Ten win on Saturday afternoon as Illini star Ayo Dosunmu knocked down a go-ahead jumper to lift his team in the final second to a 64-62 road win. Dosunmu finished with a game-high 27 points, none bigger than these two under duress.
And don't look now, Illinois fans, but this team is well on its way to rolling into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Brad Underwood's arrival. After starting the season 9-5 overall and 1-2 in league play, Illinois has won six straight games and can do no wrong after Underwood -- constantly tinkering -- decided to boldly make sweeping midseason adjustments to his defensive scheme.
"We knew from that we had to make changes defensively, even though we were turning people over at an extremely high rate,". "Second in the country, but on the back end it wasn't worth it. We were fouling too much, were starting almost every game down eight points at the foul line. We were not maximizing with free throw attempts for us or picking up offensive rebounds for extra possessions. We felt that combination was too difficult to achieve at the highest level, to balance it out. That forced changes."
The Illini defense held Michigan to 4-of-17 shooting from 3-point range and 23-of-59 shooting from the floor despite forcing just two turnovers.
Michigan is now sprinting the opposite direction of Illinois in the league standings, the loss its fourth straight after opening the season 7-0 overall. Its now 11-8 overall and 2-6 within the Big Ten -- tied for second-to-last place just ahead of Northwestern. Hope arrived Saturday in the form of Isaiah Livers, who missed a month with an injury, but true to Michigan's recent luck, Livers was injured mid-game and did not return.
Zavier Simpson led Michigan with 17 points and Franz Wagner and Jon Teske added 12, but it wasn't enough to save the Wolverines from another deflating loss. They face Nebraska on the road Tuesday for a potential bounceback, but then get Rutgers, Ohio State and Michigan State in the coming weeks.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Tuesday's Kentucky vs. LSU matchup 10,000 times.
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Tuesday's Baylor vs. Oklahoma matchup 10,000...
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Tuesday's Penn State vs. Illinois matchup 10,000...
The Tar Heels have lost six in a row, and four of those losses have been by a combined six...
The Tigers' loss to UConn on Sunday was their third in a row
The Huskies occupy the sixth spot