Terrence Shannon, Jr. Propels Illini to Elite Eight With Win Over Iowa State

The Illinois Fighting Illini are headed to the Elite Eight for the first time in 19 years thanks to leading player Terrence Shannon Jr.

The Chicago product, who once starred at Lincoln Park High School, made three key plays to seal a 72-69 win over the Iowa State Cyclones in the East Region of the Sweet 16. 

Shannon’s journey to victory was not without its challenges. He found himself in foul trouble for a significant portion of the second half, re-entering the game with four fouls at the five-minute mark. At this point, the resilient Cyclones had narrowed the gap to just two points, having trailed by 10 at the half. 

But Shannon drilled a three-pointer just seconds after coming off the bench, increasing the Illini lead by five. The Cyclones would pull to within three, but Illini guard Luke Goode also hit a three. 

With under 2:30 minutes left, Shannon made yet another play, dishing the ball to forward Dain Dainja, who made an emphatic slam. 

But Shannon would ultimately close out the game with a steal and a breakaway dunk, sending the Cyclones back to Ames, Iowa. 

Shannon finished as the game’s leading scorer, notching 29 points on 10-19 shooting. Illinois shot just 42% from the field against Iowa State, one of the top defensive teams in the tournament. The Illini also hit just 52% from the line. Iowa State had an even more abysmal shooting night, hitting just 39% of its shots. 

The Illini will now face the defending champion UConn Huskies on Saturday in the Elite Eight East Region matchup for a trip to the Final Four. 


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