PITTSBURGH (AP) — The smile is wide and bright, like everything else about Kofi Cockburn.
The Illinois center, a man mountain and one of the most dominant interior players in this year's NCAA Tournament, is almost always the one leading the laughter during practice and any other time his teammates need a lift.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Kofi Cockburn scored 27 points and Alfonso Plummer had 26, helping No. 15 Illinois beat Michigan 93-85 on Sunday.
Plummer had 23 points in the first half as the Fighting Illini led by eight.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Trent Frazier scored a game-high 16 points, and No. 24 Illinois held on to beat No. 10 Michigan State 56-55 on Tuesday and take sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Sasha Stefanovic scored 22 points, including a go-ahead 3 at the start of double overtime that sent No. 4 Purdue over No. 17 Illinois 96-88 on Monday.
Illinois guards Andre Curbelo and Alfonso Plummer made baskets in the final seconds of regulation and the first overtime before the Boilermakers (15-2, 4-2 Big Ten) broke away.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Tyler Kolek converted a steal into a go-ahead layup with 18 seconds left and Marquette forced 26 turnovers for a 67-66 comeback victory over No. 10 Illinois on Monday night.
Marquette (3-0) came back from a 12-point deficit in the second half to give new coach Shaka Smart his first signature win, despite going 3 of 9 from the foul line down the stretch.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Coleman Hawkins had 17 points on Friday night and No. 11 Illinois overwhelmed Arkansas State in a 92-53 blowout.
Illinois welcomed guards Andre Curbelo and Trent Frazier back into the lineup.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Jacob Grandison scored a career-high 20 points as short-handed No. 11 Illinois opened the season by rolling past Jackson State 71-47 on Tuesday night.
Grandison and Da’Monte Williams, both fifth-year seniors, were the only returning starters on the floor, but the Illini didn’t look out of sync.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Trent Frazier, Andre Curbelo and No. 4 Illinois arrived at Crisler Center ready to make a point...