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Illini to play Gonzaga at Maui

MAUI — The Illinois men’s basketball team will return to the Maui Invitational and face a major foe.

The Illini open the tournament against Gonzaga in the quarterfinal round on Nov. 19 at 10:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Illinois is making its fifth appearance in the Maui Invitational, owning an all-time record of 10-3 highlighted by the 2012 championship in its most recent trip. Illinois was runner-up in 2000 and finished third in 2007 and 1987.

The Fighting Illini are 5-1 all-time against Gonzaga, most recently defeating the Bulldogs 85-74 in Spokane on Dec. 8, 2012, less than three weeks after winning the 2012 Maui crown.

“The Maui Invitational is without question the elite pre-conference tournament in all of college basketball,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “This year’s tournament has arguably the strongest field in the history of the event. All eight of these programs have tremendous winning traditions, rosters filled with extremely talented players, and outstanding fan bases who travel to support their teams. Playing three high-level games in the beautiful Maui setting and on the ESPN networks is a great honor for our program; we are looking forward to the opportunity.”

Allegretti named to Wuerffel Trophy list

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois senior Nick Allegretti was named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list, the award committee announced Thursday. The Wuerffel Trophy is known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service” and is presented annually to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Allegretti also is on the watch list for the AFCA Good Works team, which honors a student-athlete’s dedication to volunteerism, community involvement and enriching the lives of others.

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