After a 12-0 start to the John Groce era, Illinois has found themselves on the outside of the NCAA Tournament bubble following a six-point home loss to Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon, dropping the Fighting Illini's Big Ten record to 2-7.
The next week doesn't get any easier however, as the soon-to-be top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers aim to make their presence known at the original Assembly Hall, in Champaign, Illinois. After that, the Illini travel to Minneapolis, to take on a Golden Gophers team that has already knocked them off this season.
All is not lost yet, as an 8-10 Big Ten record could still get Illinois into March Madness, thanks in large part to a strong nonconference campaign highlighted by a Maui Invitational Championship win over Butler, as well as a road victory at Gonzaga.
The following slideshow will contain a glimpse at each of the eight players in Illinois' rotation, along with a final slide grading the five players who normally don't see the floor. These midseason report cards need improvement if the Illini don't want to fail, which would equate to no NCAA Tournament berth.