CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois faces some questions as it gets ready for the Big Ten tournament this week but coach Bruce Weber doesn't think the team's NCAA fate should be one of them.
Weber said the Illini's strong schedule should get the team into the NCAA tournament. Illinois (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten) beat North Carolina, Maryland and Gonzaga and took Texas to overtime.
But last year Illinois had a similar record and even one more conference win yet didn't make the NCAA tournament.
The Illini open the conference tournament Friday against Michigan.
Weber believes the team has returned to its strong early season form after a mid-season slump.
Senior guard Demetri McCamey says the team just wasn't aggressive enough during its slide.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)