Illinois led by 16 at halftime only to watch Colorado rip off a 21-2 run in the second to grab the lead. The Illini looked desperate until Paul and Richardson coolly knocked down their shots to put Illinois ahead 48-44.
Four free throws by Paul eventually put the game away for the Illini (23-12), who will play No. 2 seed Miami on Sunday.
Paul led Illinois with 17 points. Askia Booker scored14 points for Colorado (21-12).
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