WMBD/WYZZ-TV - CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - As Illinois prepares to head to Texas for its NCAA Tournament game Friday, Brandon Paul can't help but think about the preparation his team has had all season long.
The brutal Big Ten schedule was more that enough of a training ground for the Illini, said Paul. Illinois is one of seven Big ten schools headed to the NCAA Tournament this week.
"Every year it's been the toughest conference," said Paul. "Just being able to play in a league like this is exciting."
The Illini will meet Colorado out of the Pac 12 Friday at 3:40 p.m. (CDT) in Austin, Texas.
"But Colorado plays in a tough league, too. They play teams like UCLA day in and day out," admitted Paul. "We're looking forward to the challenge."