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Despite being nicknamed the "Flying Illini" for their overwhelming athleticism, boasting NBA-level talent with the likes of Nick Anderson and Kendall Gill, and having defeated their national semifinal opponent twice during the regular season, Illinois lost to Michigan, the tournament's eventual champion. The semifinal featured 33 lead changes and ended on a put-back by Michigan's Sean Higgins that sealed the Illini's two-point loss.

Text: Abe Schwadron, SI.com
Photo: Manny Millan/SI

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