Posts Tagged ‘Illinois Fighting Illini’

Quick Takes: Marquette turns over Illinois

November 16, 2021 Leave a comment

QuickTakesMarquette turned Illinois over Monday night.  Literally.  As in, Illinois committed 26 turnovers.  Credit the Golden Eagles “havoc” under new coach Shaka Smart.  Also credit some ill-advised play from the Illini.  Yes, Illinois was without Kofi Cockburn, but … 26 turnovers?  That’s a recipe for losing, regardless.  Good win for Marquette.  Not-so-good loss for Illinois.  

Moving on …

  • Providence held off Wisconsin to win at the Kohl Center.  The Fryers were just outside the “Field” on Monday morning.  This is not a vintage Badger team, but road wins always matter.
  • Belmont outlasted Furman in OT.  Great game between two quality non-majors; both of whom could play in March.  Chattanooga is a quality bunch in the Southern Conference, too.  Keep an eye on the Paladins and Mocs.
  • Oregon State absorbed a loss at Tulsa – meaning the Beavers have dropped back-to-back games.  Tough start for a team hoping for an NCAA tournament encore.
  • Washington State slipped UC-Santa Barbara.  Not a high profile victory, but solid.  UCSB and UC-Irvine should duke it out for the Big West title and a chance to play spoiler down the road.

More great hoops ahead this week.

Bracketology: Illinois joins No. 1 seeds

March 3, 2021 Leave a comment

Dave2015Fresh off an impressive victory in Ann Arbor, Illinois retains its position as a No. 1 seed in today’s bracket update.  The Illini now own nine Quadrant 1 wins and have a chance at Ohio State this weekend to solidify a spot on the top line heading into the Big Ten tournament next week in Indianapolis.  No changes elsewhere: Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan lead Regions 1-3.

Seed List

Bubble teams continue to ebb and flow, which is nothing new.  The latest Bubble Talk outlines 30 teams with “Work to Do” between now and Selection Sunday. with a projected 16 spots available.  With conference tournament play underway or starting soon, bubble teams will be hoping several leagues stick somewhat to script.

Quick Takes: Illini earn huge road win; LSU keeps tumbling

February 19, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Towing a hefty four-game losing streak, Illinois re-tuned its engine, welcomed back Ayo Dosunmu and exited Happy Valley with a smile.  It was a huge road win for the Illini.  It could also be season-defining.

Illinois was 15-9 (D1 record) heading into its matchup with Penn State, without anything to showcase from its non-conference campaign.  A fifth straight loss would have increased the pressure on a young team still learning how to win.  The Illini’s work isn’t done, but a weight has been lifted.  They close with three of five at home.  We’ll see if they can seal the deal.

Meanwhile, LSU keeps tumbling.  The Tigers lost for the fourth time in five games, dropping a home game to Kentucky.  Once 8-0 in the SEC, the Tigers have gone from a near-lock to make the NCAA tournament to a team that still has work to do.  Up next, trips to South Carolina and Florida.  Drop those two, and instead of tumbling, LSU could be in free-fall. Read more…

Quick Takes: Illinois building its resume

January 22, 2020 Leave a comment

Dave2015Without much on its non-conference slate to present the Selection Committee, Illinois needed a strong Big Ten showing to build its resume.  Thus far, mission accomplished.

Behind a dominant second-half performance, the Illini exited Mackey Arena with a 17-point road win over Purdue; the Illini’s second league road tally in the past two weeks.  And their fifth straight conference win overall.  An overlooked stat from the game: Illinois out-rebounded the Boilermakers, 37-19.

There are few (if any) off days in the Big Ten, so a lot of work remains.  But early returns should have fans in Champaign excited for February basketball. Read more…

Under-the-Radar matchups for Week 1

November 3, 2019 Leave a comment

Dave2015Most eyes will be on the State Farm Classic in New York (Kansas vs. Duke / Michigan State vs. Kentucky) when college hoops tips on Tuesday.  Elsewhere, in an interesting twist, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opens league play right out of the gate, including first-week matchups such as Louisville at Miami and Virginia at Syracuse.

Those are the headliners of opening week.

Just as fun are the intriguing contests that register as Under-the-Radar (UtR) matchups.  Here are a few to put on your tracking list between Tuesday and Sunday: Read more…