Gee, Illini Hope 3rd Time Is the Charm vs. Purdue
Logan, Bob, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Bob Logan Daily Herald Sports Writer
Purdue's been too tough for Illinois twice.
The Illini are hoping the third time will be the charm for them today in the United Center (ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.). Victory in this Big Ten Tournament semifinal could also be the ticket to a high seeding in next week's NCAA Tournament.
But Jarrod Gee and the rest of the Illini aren't looking any further down the road than this afternoon, just hours after their narrow 66-61 escape from Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of this inaugural Big Ten event.
That 66-61 not-guilty verdict wasn't pretty, but it made Illinois fans pretty happy. Purdue (24-6, 12-4 Big Ten) is the only team with two victories over them this season, and the third strike definitely would be out, at least for conference action.
The survivor moves into Sunday's championship game against the winner of the Minnesota-Michigan semifinal (Ch. 2, 1 p.m.). After the way the Boilermakers barely outlasted Indiana 76-71 in Friday's late quarterfinal, it's apparent both teams will be operating on raw nerves. …