This game was big not just because the Illini won, but because the Illini blew the lead with about 6 minutes to go and then continued to battle and won.
The schedule this year has been brutal. I initially was going to say a "killer", but it hasn't killed these Illini, it has only made them stronger.
The concern with running such a tough schedule at such a young team is that eventually they break, lose confidence and fall into a death spiral. This team is tough and has continued to show up all season. There's no way this team would've shown the same level of improvement with Pitt's schedule. Maybe, just maybe, Brad Underwood knows what he's doing?
I can't imagine any B1G team right now that would be too excited about having to play the Illini. Sure, maybe they're not a highly ranked Kenpom team, but just look at the recent damage that they've done.
The future just got a bit brighter in Champaign.