The Illini had a 16 point lead at halftime, until giving up the lead in the second half. But Brandon Paul and DJ Richardson hit back to back 3-pointers to give Illinois the lead again. Paul's bucket at the 6:10 mark was the last Illinois field goal of the game. After that, however, Paul hit seven of eight free throws down the stretch to preserve Illinois' lead.
Colorado went on a 21-2 run in the second half. Askia Booker lead the Buffs with 14 points.
John Groce and his staff continues to its NCAA success. As a head coach, Groce has now won at least one NCAA tournament game in his three career trips to the big dance.
Illinois will face Miami in the round of 32 on Sunday.