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Illinois gets lucky with Groce

They might have stumbled on Ohio coach, but Illini will be glad they found him

Updated: March 29, 2012, 1:09 PM ET
By Jon Greenberg | ESPNChicago.com

John Groce was a hero on the brick streets of Athens, Ohio, the first coach to take the Ohio Bobcats to two NCAA tournaments since the early 1980s, and he was a missed free throw, perhaps, from taking a 13-seed to the Elite Eight.

You might not have heard of him before this year's tournament, but he didn't come out of the cornfields of the Mid-American Conference.

In four years, he took a fairly average mid-major program and turned it into a March pest. At 40, Groce is the perfect ...

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