Illinois: Getting One Nice Thing a Year - Joe Robbins
As OTE regular SpartanHT puts it, "So apparently Illinois had a nice thing tonight." And so we dedicate today's read to whatever just happened last night and remind everyone that going on the road in the Big Ten (or anywhere really) is one of the most difficult things in basketball. Seriously, though. First off, how does something like last night even happen? Well, Cody Zeller absolutely forgetting to cover his man, Tyler Griffey, as he cuts to the basket is a good place to start. Let's go ahead and go to the Champaign Room for reactions and this GIF:
via the Champaign Room
I mean... Good work number one team in the nation. With about 3:30 left, you had a 9 point lead that evaporated when you forgot to score points and stop the other team. Obviously this is belittling what happened for Illinois, but stare at this GIF for a moment. You let a guy score an uncontested layup for a buzzer beating win. I can make layups. I literally have a probability of less than 20% anywhere else on the court (including that little block jumper shot... I hate that shot), but I can make a freaking uncontested layup. Let's head over to Inside the Hall for a little bit more research on what exactly happened on that final play.
After the initial screen didn't produce any results, Richardson continued to move toward the right baseline and the inbounder, Paul. Watford attempted to follow Richardson. McLaurin, meanwhile, set a hard screen on Ferrell, and Griffey cut to the basket. But Zeller, who looked like he was supposed to switch with Ferrell after the McLaurin screen, didn't follow Griffey.
Layup and ballgame.
Ultimately, we have now seen number one go down five weeks in a row with Indiana losing twice as number one this season. Oh, it's also worth pointing out this little ESPN stat: Indiana has the most losses as #1 in the Big Ten with 9 such losses. Assuming MIchigan doesn't lose to Wisconsin tomorrow, they can tie Indiana with their 9th next week. With schools like Florida and Kansas putting up mind-blowing losses, this has officially ushered back in the year of basketball parity. And to think y'all, I was totally going to do a summary of all the things Urban plans on telling the coaches at the B1G Coaches Meetings... This was more crazy than that. On to the links:
B1G Team Links:
- Honestly, of all the Illinois people that we have railed on because, honestly Illinois has been the easiest target and will probably continue to be for a while, I am most happy for Robert at A Lion Eye who had been getting a little dark in some of his pieces lately. Congrats to him and read his thoughts on the win.
- The IlliniHQ liveblog is an interesting piece. I think my favorite is the halftime thought:
- I do all of these pieces alphabetically because that's the best way for me to organize my saved GoogleNews Searches, SBN sites, and bookmarks. That's usually okay, but this is probably the most I've talked about Illinois and/or Indiana ever. Regardless, let's talk about Indiana a little bit more. The team at Inside the Hall always has good thoughts and here are some more than what was above. Most telling? Indiana did not get any fastbreak points. None. Crazy to believe, but then the 2 point loss is put in more context. Mostly, this is still a loaded team that had an off night. I'm guessing most Hoosier fans aren't panicking.
- Furthermore, there is an important point made in FoxSports this morning. Maybe there just really isn't a number one team right now? Coach Crean isn't even sure what exactly is going on.
- I've decided that Fran-Graphs is probably my favorite recurring basketball thing on SBN. HEC does a great job over at BHGP and this one was one of my favorites as I tried to place each of the ancient deities from my limited frame of reference. I was surprised AIRBHG didn't make the cut. He just seems vindictive as hell and could probably alter the luck of the basketball team because that would just be so him.
- Dev Marble is one of Iowa's best scorers... in theory. His dad says he's still confident and will get things turned around. Iowa is hoping this is true because their offense is kind of rough to watch otherwise.
- There is a game between Michigan and Wisconsin tomorrow and B5Q sat down with MnB to talk about what will go down.
- See, I don't even know why we're so angsty about recruit flipping in the first place. Hoke talks to MLive about how it will keep happening, and that's fine. Look, these are kids making big decisions. Let's not worry about verbals that are non-binding. It is what it is.
- Interesting fan-post on ToC defending Keith Appling. It was written a couple weeks ago, but it's worth the read.
- Is this the weekend Michigan State takes control of the Big Ten? I don't know, but I do know that the question as a headline thing on a major news site (a la CNN style) is funny to see. Good for you NBC for roping in readers. Also, no, this is not the weekend Michigan State takes control. I'm guessing that would be next week with a win over Michigan.
- I did not get the full signing day recap piece from TDG yesterday. Here is their roundtable and some feelings surrounding Goldy after a pretty decent day considering the source.
- I feel silly linking to Rant Sports as most talk over there is drivel. (also, auto play warning...) Anyhow, this is a piece on firing Tubby Smith which seems ridiculous even with the recent dip. This conference is loaded and there is time for some redemption. People need to chill a bit.
- Oh, hello Colorado. So nice to see you again... Says pretty much nobody. I guess renewing the Colorado-Nebraska rivalry is good for easy games for our Western Nebraska fans. Still... ugh.
- Nebraska is going to play everyone next year according to Pelini. Also, Bo needs to look out for low hanging poles.
- Here is the head-to-head recruiting wins for Northwestern versus pretty much everyone. SoP went through a lot of details for this one. Somebody needs to get a chart for all the Big Ten up.
- Here is the ESPN breakdown of Northwestern's class and really, there is some talent there. Probably one of the better looking classes for the Wildcats.
- Hey look, Ohio State is getting a start on 2014's recruiting class... because of course they are.
- Urban Meyer trolls the Big Ten (as noted previously) and basically says, "Father Knows Best."
- Speaking of our good friend Urban... BOB agrees with him in principle, but says, "Yeah, we need to be recruiting better in Ohio as well."
- BSD has some updates on the court battle between Pennsylvania and the NCAA. Looks like the NCAA has fired back with their motion to dismiss the suit.
- What is it with people talking about firing people. H&R talks about the absurdity of firing Matt Painter.
- Seriously, I feel like tomorrow's Purdue-MSU game has the makings for an upset. A listless Purdue vs. a really hyped MSU? Come on, with the week that was, we should almost expect it. Painter says that he just wants better effort this time around.
- Wisconsin has a defense in the making that could be stout for a while. At least that's what B5Q thinks.
- This is a TV article, so it's not really an article so much as a soundbyte, but I like what Gary Andersen says about the Badgers' class:
An Illinois fan asked me at halftime "Where did all these freaking Indiana people come from?" My answer: "Indiana."
Stars are not everything to us. It's a fit. We want a toughness factor -- somebody that wants to succeed academically, socially, and athletically. People want to sit back and rank this and do that on signing day, we don't get into that. If we offer them a scholarship, it's because we believe they're going to be a quality student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin.
There you have it people. Today's music selection is from the Eels because the Eels freaking rock. Happy Weekend everybody.