Monday, March 07, 2005


I have to admit, I didn't want the undefeated season bad until yesterday. Maybe it was because all season our players made it look easy. And when things got tough, they always figured out a way to pull it out. However, yesterday they couldn't and you know what? That's ok.

I'm focused more on the national title anyway. That's what matters.

Sure, I was upset. For half an hour. That's how long it took me to get it out of my system. It was made a little easier by watching Kentucky and Kansas both go down as well. But I kept telling myself perspective is what's needed so here it is:

1. Mike & Mike in the Morning. These dudes are studs.

Let me paraphrase Greenburg this morning: This loss should not affect Illinois' ranking or the fact that they are the best team in the nation or that they should still get the number one overall seed or that they have had the best season so far and they don't get the credit they deserve.

Golic (paraphrased): I don't want to hear this nonsense that losing one takes all the pressure off. It doesn't. If they want to win the national championship, the pressure is still there.

(Coach Weber said yesterday on CBS that the team set out to go undefeated in non-conference, win the Big Ten and win the national title. "Undefeated just sort of snuck up on us," he said.)

Greenburg went on to say that the Indy-Chicago-St. Louis path should still be there for Illinois, that the team shouldn't have to get on a plane all tourney and that the fans should travel easily.

Just wait till the rest of the nation sees how well our fans travel.

2. I don't want to hear anyone say we have to win the Big Ten Tournament to keep our lock on the number one seed. Please. We do need to win two games. The selection committee never waits until after the conference title games to make adjustments (just look at last year) and I seriously doubt they will do so this year. (I still want us to win the whole thing of course.)

3. There was some talk yesterday that Illinois may drop in the rankings if UNC beat Duke. I think I recall hearing this during the (surprise, surprise!) UNC-Duke game. I think it may have been Billy Packer who said it. (My sincerest apologies to Packer if he didn't.)

In any case, my feeling is this: You think the loss to tOSU will motivate our guys? Try dropping them a ranking or two and see what happens.

4. I believe if our guys are hungry enough they should still win the title. I believe that in order to do so they will have to find an answer for Sean May and Shelden Williams. If our road to the championship doesn't go through Duke and UNC I would be shocked.

5. Some of my favorite stories for today: Morrissey, Katz and this NY Times piece has a good bit on the adjustment that Weber made at halftime.

6. When tOSU fans stormed the court yesterday, I just closed my eyes. Not because we lost and they were celebrating our misery but because I was hopeful none of our guys would get hurt. Can you imagine if Dee would've broken his leg because he was trounced by an Ohio State fan? Talk about instant hate rivarly...

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