‘Do Something Special’- Ayo Dosunmu Confident in Illinois Fighting Illini Chances At March Madness

Published 03/16/2021, 1:00 PM EDT
Mar 13, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Andre Curbelo (5) reacts with guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) during a stop in play against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


The Illinois Fighting Illini are one of the top teams in the Big Ten this season. The Big Ten tournament champions will hope to take that winning run and extend it into March Madness. Like all the teams in the Field of 68, Illinois are hoping to win the title at the end. However, it is more likely for them than others.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Illinois guard and contender for player of the year, Ayo Dosunmu, spoke about how he and his team are approaching the tournament. The stakes are high in this win-or-go-home situation, and the young star recognizes that situation fully.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“There’s definitely a sense of urgency mentally for myself and with our teammates because now it’s win or go home. There’s no time for collapses. It’s every game has to be played tremendously hard, as hard you can to accomplish our goals. So it feels great to understand that, to have that circumstance. I feel like we have a great chance to go out there and do something special.”

Illinois Fighting Illini: Do they have a strong chance to win the Tournament?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Illinois Fighting Illini have just as good odds as most of the other elite teams in the tournament. What makes this hard to predict is the single-game elimination format. Upsets and NCAA basketball go hand in hand. Teams like Illinois, who are top seeds are usually the ones that bow out in those situations.

Mar 6, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; The Illinois Fighting Illini bench celebrates after a three-point basket against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

However, this team has shown maturity beyond their years. They fought hard all season long and finished just shy of the Michigan Wolverines in the regular-season standings. However, they got the tournament win and a number one seed for the tournament, alongside Michigan.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

They will open their tournament campaign against Drexel University. While Illinois is an overwhelming favorite, these are the situations that upstart teams love to play in. However, this is also the situation that teams like Illinois are extremely prepared for. With the talent of Dosunmu and the talented core around him, this team could genuinely make a deep run in this year’s tournament.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT