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Big Ten at Ten 1.18.13: Remember when Illinois was a Highly Ranked Basketball Team?

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Neither do I.

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Okay, let's go ahead and start with Minnesota-Michigan before I dive into full-on mocking of Illinois basketball. The turning point for the Gophers last night, in my opinion, was early on actually. At the 3:24 mark, Trey Burke got stripped by Julian Welch and the Gophers were off to the races on the break, but a terrible fastbreak (not all too unlike every single Nebraska fastbreak this season), derailed what would have been a tie game and Michigan was able to turn the tables and get a fastbreak dunk from Tim Hardaway Jr. In a matter of 14 seconds, the Wolverines avoided a tie game with an unbelievable crowd and ended up with a four point lead that would not get any closer for the rest of the game.

Sure, one might argue that there were chances by the Gophers, but Michigan generally took care of business and had a clutch shot when it mattered. This was a crazy away game for the Wolverines, but they rose to the challenge. Likewise, Minnesota is not a team to be trifled with. As the Big Ten enters the stretch run over the next few weeks, be prepared for some lights out basketball. Of course, that is unless you are a fan of the Illini who are doing their best impression of the Illini football game -- early hype and a lot of crashing and burning. To the Illini faithful, I have no idea how you're dealing with all this...

Anyhow, in their second game of the Big Ten schedule, Illinois took down big bad Ohio State (a team who many thought were the class of the conference) and staked their legitimacy. There were concerns after the Purdue loss, but many just wrote that off as early conference jitters and this announced the Illini to the conference. Since that game, Illinois has looked... well, not so good. Losses to Minnesota and Wisconsin are excusable, but getting ran out of your own court versus Northwestern? Come on now. Lucky for the Illini, they have a date with a depleted Husker team who has their own set of issues. Unfortunately, to take advantage of those, the Illini need to do a lot of soul-searching themselves.

B1G Team Links

But Miles wasn't looking for positives after the game.

He called a timeout with Nebraska down nine and 22 seconds remaining to prove his point."I said, ‘Look around, what do you see? Empty seats, people heading to the exits.' We're supposed to be part of the solution, not part of the problem and I'm not interested in continuing this," Miles said.

Alright, so I have two links from the Vox Media owned Tech Site, The Verge. If you don't read this site and you enjoy technology and science and nerdy stuff, then you're lame and should start. Anyhow, the first is all about Lance Armstrong's doping science and the arms race in sports doping. It's fascinating. The second is a nice longform piece on the life and death of the American Arcade. I enjoyed that one a lot too. Have a great weekend everyone!