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Associated Press
Brandon Paul of Illinois is surrounded by teammates after hitting the game-winning shot in a first-round victory over Minnesota on Thursday.

Big 10 men: Illinois 51, Minnesota 49

Illini earn quarterfinal game with Hoosiers

CHICAGO – Brandon Paul scored 25 points and hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to lead Illinois to a 51-49 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.

Illinois (22-11) led by as much as 12, but was trailing by three when D.J. Richardson nailed a three-pointer with 47 seconds left to tie it at 49. That basket came after the Illini missed four shots on the possession.

The Gophers (20-12) had a chance to win it, but Austin Hollins stepped on the sideline after catching an inbounds pass with 14 seconds left.

Paul then raced up the court and pulled up for the winner as time expired, sending the eighth-seeded Illini to the quarterfinals against top-seeded and third-ranked Indiana.

For more on this story, see Friday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Friday.

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