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Illinois Reaches Elite Eight with Win vs. Iowa State, Impresses March Madness Fans

It wasn't always pretty, but Illinois is moving on to the Elite Eight.

The Fighting Illini beat Iowa State in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night, 72-69, behind Terrance Shannon Jr.'s 29 points.

Illinois advanced despite struggling from both three (9-of-29) and the free-throw line (15-of-29), allowing Iowa State to hang around in game that saw the Cyclones get off to an incredibly slow start on the offensive end.

Awaiting Illinois is the defending champion UConn Huskies, a brutal matchup for any team, but the Fighting Illini received their flowers on social media after a hard-fought win:

Sam Olbur @SamOlbur

Illinois is the better team.