3 keys at Illinois 

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
11:25
AM ET
The No. 16 Michigan basketball team travels to Illinois on Thursday. The Fighting Illini are 6-10 in Big Ten play, but they've picked up some huge wins in conference play at Assembly Hall. In January they beat Michigan State and Ohio State at home, and on Sunday the Illini grabbed a nine-point win over Iowa.

Last season the Wolverines suffered a two-point loss at Assembly Hall after coming back from a 10-point halftime deficit. Here are three keys for Michigan to avoid that fate (and the fates of the Spartans, Buckeyes and Hawkeyes):
1.) Get off to a strong start. Michigan hasn't gotten off to many great starts on the road this season, and playing a solid first 10 minutes in Assembly Hall will be key to the Wolverines closing this one out. On top of that, it's senior night for the Illini. Michigan saw how that extra adrenaline changed their play in a 75-61 loss on senior night in Ann Arbor. If the Wolverines can use that experience to fuel a solid start and put the Illini down early, it'll change the whole tempo of the game.
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