Shannon, Illinois hold off Iowa State to advance to Elite Eight

BOSTON — Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 29 points and Illinois reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 2005, beating Iowa State 72-69 in an East Region semifinal on Thursday night.

Shannon had 20 points in the first half for the third-seeded Illini (29-8), who never trailed. He broke away for a dunk in the closing seconds and later hit two free throws to help Illinois finally put away the second-seeded Cyclones (29-8).

Illinois made a regional final for the fourth time in the past 40 years and will meet defending champion UConn at 5:09 p.m. Saturday for a trip to the Final Four. The top-seeded Huskies defeated San Diego State 82-52 in the earlier East semifinal.

Curtis Jones scored 26 points to lead Iowa State, which came into March Madness having blown out Houston for the Big 12 Tournament title.

Illinois guard Terrence Shannon Jr. celebrates after his dunk against Iowa State during the first half of the Sweet 16 college basketball game in the men’s NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 28, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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