Terrence Shannon Jr. leads Illinois past Iowa State 72-69 for first Elite Eight trip since 2005

Illinois State forward DeAnna Wilson (24) blocks the shot of Wisconsin guard Halle Douglass (10) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the WNIT in Madison, Wis., Thursday, March 28, 2024. (Samantha Madar/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Illinois State forward DeAnna Wilson (24) blocks the shot of Wisconsin guard Halle Douglass (10) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the WNIT in Madison, Wis., Thursday, March 28, 2024. (Samantha Madar/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

BOSTON (AP) — 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 on 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.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

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