You could talk about how Bruce Weber betrayed, BETRAYED I SAY, my beloved Boilermakers leaving us with the horrid prospect of not only sending out the man with the best hair in the business with a losing season but also Matt bleeping Painter as the head Coach.
More seriously, one of the local idiots asked a shockingly good question today on their show when they wondered if Illinois would be doing as well if Bill Self was still there. Of course, you've probably already beaten that to death, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
Originally posted by bash91 one of the local idiots asked a shockingly good question today on their show when they wondered if Illinois would be doing as well if Bill Self was still there.
Thats a good question, considering how much the players have bought into the motion offense, which was much different than Self's....they are such a team unit now that I would say no...but thats just a guess.
You can always do the "Is it better to lose a game before the NCAA Tournament" question.
This team looks very very good, but what will happen when they get into crunch time in a close game with another top 10 team in the tourney? Do they have that special something that puts them head and shoulders above the rest?
Where the wild are strong, and the strong are the darkest ones, you're the Darkest One.
I think the Illini are real and I think they're real scary.
As an avid UK fan, there are only 2 teams that I don't want the 'Cats to have to play in the tourney: UNC (yes Jag, I said a 'Cat fan doesn't want a rematch with UNC) and Illinois.
I don't think Illinois "needs" a loss. They have a veteran team and they've had games that they've won late with clutch play. The only potential chink in their armor is that the Big 10 is a little down this year, but I think wins against good Michigan State and Wisconsin teams speak volumes.
I'd say good luck in March, but it wouldn't be sincere.
What I like about this team is that they're not afraid to lose...but they also don't want to. I think it's pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime deal right now, and that they're playing so well as a team that they could play - and win - against anybody. It wouldn't necessarily be pretty, but it could be done.
I'm not in the "need to lose one" camp (the question's been asked for the last dozen games), and being that they've only got Purdue and Ohio State left on the schedule, I don't expect the players to be, either.
Originally posted by hazDo they have that special something that puts them head and shoulders above the rest?
Yes. His name is Dee Brown.
As good as the rest of this team is, it's all about The Dee. Luther and Deron may have equally great talent, but when The Dee starts knocking them down from the arc you can feel the life being sucked out of the opponents. As he showed in the late comeback at Michigan, he doesn't wait for opportunities, either - he creates them. It's the psychology game; you can hear the opposing coach saying "ballgame" when he gets hot.
I could see them possibly losing Saturday or Sunday in Chicago if another Big 1T1en team gets psyched up for the upset, but I doubt it will happen. The Tourney is another matter; given the way it usually works, this three-game skid by the Jayhawks is just to dishearten Illini fans when Self eventually knocks off the Orange and Blue. Illinois will even bring back Brian Cook to miss a jumper at the buzzer.
Originally posted by Eddie Famous....anyone want to take a shot?
Yeah, there's no way they can beat Michigan in the Big 10 tournament. They BARELY squeaked by them in the regular season and there's no stopping the Wolverines now.
BWHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Just wanted to see how that would look when I wrote it down....
Except for Sparty, no one has a chance against the Illini in the Big 10 tournament. As for the NCAAs, the Illini can match up with any ACC team. And a sterling record like the Illini has bodes well for their early round matchups, whereas someone like a North Carolina or Oklahoma St. have shown the potential for an early upset (see Santa Clara or Nebraska).
GREAT. IF YOU COULD ONLY SAY THE SAME ABOUT YOUR FLIPPIN' FANS. "As a whole our team has been pretty modest in victory and respectful of the opposition, especially the Yankees, and focus on what we're having to do. If there's anything personal, I'm sure it's just a blip and it will pass. But I know from knowing our guys that they're very, very respectful of the Yankees and what they've accomplished." - Red Sox GM Theo Epstein
This Carolina team is scary-good. I don't think they could un-gel enough at this point to lose another Santa Clara game. The real story here is that Wake doesn't get a second shot at Carolina or Duke this year, which would've determined where the real power is in the ACC this year.
All that said - Poor Clemson and Florida State. I really thought they'd get a few more in conference wins off the new comers. But it looks like Miami and VT were more than prepared to come and play ball. Too bad they screwed up our home and home schedual. Bastards.
Edit: I'm wrong. Apparently Wake did play Duke at home, and lost 102-92. Hrmmm...
(edited by Jaguar on 25.2.05 1252) Setting the world on fire with a heart full of anger and a fist full of lead.
I'm still not entirely sold on North Carolina at this point. Rock-solid from a talent standpoint? Yes. But can they win the big game? As of now, I'm not so sure. Of course, their biggest wins are indeed, just that, big (over Kentucky early in the year, Tech before they began their freefall), but part of me can't shake them losing to Wake on the road and their hideous last 20 seconds of the game at Duke.
As for the Illini? Well, from a comparison standpoint, I saw their game against Wisconsin. They were running with a 10-point lead or so about halfway through the second half... then Wisconsin started to pull closer. Illinois responded with a obscene run to put the game away.
Originally posted by TheCowI'm still not entirely sold on North Carolina at this point. Rock-solid from a talent standpoint? Yes. But can they win the big game? As of now, I'm not so sure. Of course, their biggest wins are indeed, just that, big (over Kentucky early in the year, Tech before they began their freefall), but part of me can't shake them losing to Wake on the road and their hideous last 20 seconds of the game at Duke.
I have to admit the loss to Duke had me worried. That's the kind of thing the Heels will probably see in the tournament. People will want to slow them down, especially after seeing Duke. The fact that UConn tried the same thing the next game but didn't win, made me feel a bit more comfortable. Not totally at ease, but a bit more comfortable. At least now the Heels have a coach who can recognise potential problems. If they can beat Duke on the 6th of March, I think that puts other teams on notice that they are legit.
That being said, I always dread the early round upset loss....
I'm picking Illinois as an early out in the tournament. They don't have the big win to say that they are for real. A game on the first of December against Wake Forest was impressive at the time, but Wake has proven to be less than advertised at the start of the year since. They did beat Michigan State, but aside from that they have not played a very tough schedule. Wisconsin is a good win if you are Purdue or Michigan, but if you're a national championship contender you should win that with ease.
The field is wide open, though, and there are a number of teams that have as good a shot as anybody. This year's tournament could really come down to matchups and the way the bracket is set up, because there really is not an easy favourite the way there is in most years.
Well, ultimately if you don't have a standout win, but you've won every one of your games, whose fault is that? You've obviously taken care of business, so then the fault's either going to lie on the non-con schedule or in the weakness of the conference. While the Illini didn't play an incredibly hard non-con, they still played a tough one.. and ultimately came through undefeated. In other words, I'm not sure where you can justify "not having a big win" - doesn't being undefeated say that?
This isn't about placing blame. You're right, the Illini can only beat the teams that are put in front of them. If they go undefeated and win the Big Ten, good for them, they will have earned a number one seed in the tournament. All I am saying is that by not having any standout wins they haven't given me reason to think they will win the tournament. Could they? Sure. But they are unproven against the best at this point in time.
I personally think it would be funny as hell if it turns out the Lakers fired Phil Jackson and traded Shaq to appease Kobe's massive ego, only to have Kobe pack up his stuff and move down the hallway to the Clippers' locker room.