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Roundball chatter

Updated: January 27, 2014, 5:40 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Each week I write about the sport I love, college basketball:

• Earlier this season, Illinois looked like lock city for the NCAA tournament. Now John Groce's team has dropped six in a row, including a 56-46 defeat at Indiana on Sunday. At 2-6 in the Big Ten and 13-8 overall, the Illini have a tough week ahead against a pair of nationally ranked teams in Iowa and Wisconsin. Illinois is now a bubble team.

• The Maize and Blue of Michigan are getting better ...

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