No joke Illinois was down 10 points in the poll with 4 hours left to play. I literally can't make that shit up because I'm not smart enough. But when my eyes first laid on the championship, I knew Dee Brown and Deron would find a way to fight back and sure enough they did. Funny statistic about the Illinois team - in 33 games prior to the NCAA tournament, only 2 were decided by 5 or fewer points: a March road loss to Ohio State and a February home win against Iowa. That means they won ALL OTHER 31 games by at least 6 points.
But what people really remember is the guard play. Deron Williams - Dee Brown - Luther Head is arguably the greatest trio of perimeter players on any college team of my lifetime. And not only were they awesome - they were fucking SWEET too. If social media were around back then, they'd be remembered much differently and I say that amidst them being named the #1 moment in March Madness history. Think how fucked that is for second. These guys were victims of bad timing and could have been even bigger.
If you've never seen this game, I can't recommend it enough. Literally the greatest basketball game of all time.
If you don't have time, here's the comeback in its entirety - picks up at 1 minute in thru overtime.
And if you think that all sucks but still want a little taste of the greatest comeback of all time:
There you have it. Definitely not a replacement for losing to UNC in the championship but I'd also be a liar if I didn't enjoy winning something. Illinois has basically been in the basement since winning that Arizona game and maybe this is the final nail in the coffin. In other words, the 2021 Illinois Final 4 starts right here, right now. Somebody tell Ayo.