Dee Brown backpedaled with his right arm held high and wrist cocked after making a three-pointer.
It was a sight No. 1 Illinois forced host Michigan State to get used to last night.
Luther Head scored 22 points, Brown had 18 and the Fighting Illini made 13 three-pointers to remain undefeated with an 81-68 victory over the 12th-ranked Spartans.
"In the warmups, I shot two air balls and the fans started talking trash," Brown said. "When people start talking trash, it just puts fuel in my tank. I knew I was going to get hot."
Illinois (22-0, 8-0 Big Ten) was expected to face a tough test against Michigan State (14-4, 5-2) in an arena known to be raucous. But when the Illini were not making shots from beyond the arc, they were scoring on low-post moves and mid-range jumpers in their finely tuned half-court offense.
At the other end of the court, the Illini seemed to get their bodies, or at least arms or hands, in every passing lane.
Deron Williams had 14 points and five assists for Illinois and James Augustine added 11 points.
Alan Anderson scored 14 points for the Spartans, who lost their 12th straight to a ranked opponent.
No. 5 Boston College 62, West Virginia 50: Craig Smith overpowered a collapsing defense to score 23 points as the Eagles (19-0, 8-0 Big East) beat the visiting Mountaineers (12-7, 2-6) to remain one of Division I's two unbeaten teams.
The burly forward was scoreless while West Virginia built an 18-9 lead with 9:21 left in the first half, but then scored 17 of the Eagles' next 24 points, giving them the lead for good at 33-32 with a layup with 16:04 remaining.
Off the court
Duke: Freshman forward David McClure had surgery yesterday on his left knee, which he injured in the team's home loss to Maryland last week. It's not known how long he will be out.
North Carolina State: Senior forward Levi Watkins will miss at least four weeks after spraining his right knee during practice yesterday.