15th Anniversary of the Illini Elite Eight comeback vs. Arizona

#2
Unforgettable. That was the loudest arena I have ever been in. The sustained noise of the crowd trying to will the team during the comeback was unbelievable. I remember being there at the Allstate Arena when we were down 15 with four minutes left thinking about how much it was going to suck having to sell my final four tickets. That was a great team and it was the best comeback in tourney history.
 
#5
One thing I really remember is I didn't have a doubt in that game until Roger got blocked right at the rim near the end of the second. Right when it happened I thought to myself uh oh we are in real trouble now..... But it all worked out :)
 
#7
Sitting at home screaming at the tv. I lost my voice just like those of you who were at the game. Thanks for posting this IlliniFan.
 
#8
Rockford, IL
Unforgettable. That was the loudest arena I have ever been in. The sustained noise of the crowd trying to will the team during the comeback was unbelievable. I remember being there at the Allstate Arena when we were down 15 with four minutes left thinking about how much it was going to suck having to sell my final four tickets. That was a great team and it was the best comeback in tourney history.
I was there too. Unbelievable night. I'll always remember Dee trying to pass the ball down court to Deron for a winning layup in regulation and the pass getting blocked. Would have been one of the best passes ever.
 
#9
You can watch that game over and over and over again and never get tired of watching it. Like watching a rerun of the Three Stooges. You never get tired of the Stoogies.
 
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#10
I was helping my brother move. I recall being extremely mad down double digits with less than 5 minutes to go, listening to it on the radio and telling my brother, "At least we don't have to watch it"... just to end up rushing back to his old apartment where the TV still worked and watching the last 3 minutes and over time sitting on the floor, about a foot from the TV.
I just watched it again last week. Even 15 years later, down 8 with less than a minute to go, I found myself asking "How in the world will they pull this off?" Other than the Cubs wining the World Series in 2016, this was probably the greatest moment of my personal sports fandom.
 
#11
Rockford, Illinois
We sat seven rows behind the AZ bench, two seats away from Marcus Liberty. With three minutes left, I remember sitting with my face in my hands, thinking this special season can’t end like this. The comeback started, and we were all standing, screaming our lungs out on every point the Illini scored. High-fiving Marcus was so fun after we won. It was the greatest game in the history of the world, one of the best memories of my life.
:chief::hailtotheorange::chief:
 
#14
Orange Krush '04 & '05
I was lucky to be a junior along with Dee, Deron, and James.

I was at home that weekend, perhaps it was spring break, watching the game at my house. I left to go to my friend's house down the street as the AZ lead maxed out and a bunch of us were going to play poker after. I got there as the comeback started. I almost punched a hole in his ceiling with several jumping fist pumps. After it was all over, I sprinted down the freezing cold street blasting an air horn that I saw on the counter. The liquid inside ended up leaking all over my hand and giving me frost like burns. Upon my return, my out of shape for winter sprints lungs weren't keeping up and my blood pressure dropped to like 70/40 and i started to black out. Luckily my friend was a paramedic so he got me seated and I never went fully out. The actual paramedics were called and arrived a few minutes later, but by then I was bouncing back. Went on to play poker in the glory of the most memorable comeback ever.

I'll never forget that day.
 
#18
Just wanted to add: I don't think I've ever seen a better pass than Deron's to Dee for the lay-up. Perfection. (Bardo to Anderson against Indiana wasn't too shabby either.)
 
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#19
It was Easter weekend. The Illini actually died during that game, but were resurrected...thank goodness! The greatest part was the Illini caravan all the way home. What a great, great night!! So glad to have been there.
 
#20
We sat seven rows behind the AZ bench, two seats away from Marcus Liberty. With three minutes left, I remember sitting with my face in my hands, thinking this special season can’t end like this. The comeback started, and we were all standing, screaming our lungs out on every point the Illini scored. High-fiving Marcus was so fun after we won. It was the greatest game in the history of the world, one of the best memories of my life.
:chief::hailtotheorange::chief:
High-fiving Marcus Liberty? Get outta here. But I believe you. What a thrill! But I disagree with you on one point: it was the greatest game in the history of the Universe! A comeback for all time. Thanks for your post.
 
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#22
This game is on cbs sports network right now. The video quality is much better than the previous version I have on my dvr from big tens greatest games on Btn FYI....
 
#23
This game is on cbs sports network right now. The video quality is much better than the previous version I have on my dvr from big tens greatest games on Btn FYI....
Thanks so much!!! This is what I wanted just bummed I missed the beginning but for this game its all about the ending. Has anyone ever found a version where its the radio call over the video? That would be fabulous.
 
#25
Among my favorite memories of that game: Deron's pass with English on it to Dee for the lay-up and Bill Murray hands to head in disbelief.
The degree of difficulty of that pass-and Dee’s ability to corral it and complete the layup-is not talked about enough.
 
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