Thanks to some Hoiberg magic, Illinois entered Sunday night’s game with a chance to claim a share of the regular season Big Ten men’s basketball title. There was just one obstacle left in their way: the #24 Iowa Hawkeyes, winners of 9 of their last 10.
Keegan Murray is the focal point of the offense, but the secondary scorer is sixth-year senior Jordan Bohannon, the most experienced player in Big Ten history. With Iowa’s all-gas-no-brakes approach to maximize offense, the noted rival-killer was poised to have a big night. However, his contributions were matched virtually stat-for-stat by an unlikely opponent: me, watching the game on TV in my house.
Like Bohannon, I spent most of the first half sitting. I was much more active in the second half, and although I finished with two fewer shot attempts, I ended the game with as many points, rebounds and assists as the Iowa native.
Every time Bohannon made a shot, I answered right back with a bucket of my own. It was quite the battle we had! I would have thought he had the decisive advantage; we’re the same height, but I’m much slower, less athletic and worse at basketball.
Also, I was 400 miles away from the building in which the game was played.
Nevertheless, although he provided more valuable minutes on defense than I did, he also committed three fouls, which was three more than I was whistled for.
Although we matched each other play for play on the offensive end, there had to be a winner, and it was ultimately my Fighting Illini. However, I respect my fellow competitor for matching my impact on the game. I even left my shoes right there on the hardwood to thank him for the memories!
Congratulations on the BTT 5 seed!