Maryland Upsets No. 10 Illinois in Shocking College Basketball Thriller

Maryland Upsets No. 10 Illinois in Shocking College Basketball Thriller

In a stunning upset, Maryland pulled off a remarkable victory against No. 10 Illinois, led by Jahmir Young’s impressive 28 points and Julian Reese’s standout performance with 20 points and 11 rebounds. This marks the 10th instance this week where a team in the top 10 of the AP men’s college basketball poll faced defeat.

The Terrapins (11-6, 3-3 Big Ten) displayed resilience, outscoring Illinois 39-28 in the second half. The turning point came with Reese’s dunk at the 15:32 mark, propelling Maryland to a 76-67 win. Despite being 9.5-point underdogs according to ESPN BET, the Terrapins secured their first Big Ten road victory of the season.

Illinois (12-4, 3-2) faced a tough challenge with Marcus Domask contributing 26 points, and Luke Goode adding 13. Notably, Coleman Hawkins, who had been a consistent scorer in seven consecutive games, fouled out with 2:50 left, finishing with eight points and seven rebounds.

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Maryland strategically focused on neutralizing the threat posed by the 6-foot-10 Hawkins on both ends of the court. Coach Kevin Willard emphasized, “He’s a matchup nightmare on offense. So, we decided to pound the ball inside to Julian and make Hawkins defend that instead of switching to the perimeter.”

Coach Brad Underwood of Illinois took responsibility for the loss, acknowledging Maryland’s deserving credit. He admitted fault for not getting his team in the right defensive mindset, stating, “Now we can join the crowd. Every other top-10 team lost this week to an unranked team. Doesn’t make it feel any better.”

Maryland’s victory adds to the surprising trend of top-10 teams facing defeats this week, with only No. 4 UConn and No. 7 North Carolina emerging unscathed.

In the second half, Illinois struggled, shooting at a mere 22.5% (9-of-40) from the field. Despite a late attempt by Domask to close the gap to 68-65, Maryland responded with a decisive 6-0 run, securing the win.

Illinois faced additional challenges, holding a 39-37 halftime lead, and playing five games without star player Terrence Shannon Jr., who is currently suspended and facing legal issues. Shannon’s fate remains uncertain as legal proceedings unfold.

As the dust settles, Maryland celebrates a significant victory, while Illinois reflects on a challenging week and looks ahead to potential improvements.

About Author

John Smith

John Smith is a distinguished journalist, holding a Master's in Journalism from the renowned Columbia University. With a knack for uncovering the most captivating stories, John is the go-to expert for all things related to politics and current affairs. His insightful analysis and commitment to unbiased reporting set him apart in the world of journalism. John's writing ensures you're always in the know about the latest happenings in the USA.

1 Comment

  • Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.

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