Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Say what?

1. That's what most Fighting Illini fans were saying to themselves Sunday night around 5:15 p.m. CST when CBS unveiled the brackets that the NCAA Selection Committee worked so diligently to put together.

The Illini ended up a four seed in the Washington, DC bracket and got shipped out to San Diego. Many Illini fans were probably demanding a recount. Although San Diego's weather is nice, it's also a long way from the friendly confines of the Midwest.

Call me optimistic but I have two things to say about this seeding: I like our chances against any of the teams we may play this weekend: Air Force (for sure) and then either Utah State or Washington.

In addition, we have a good fan base out in California. Last time the Illini played out there it was in football. I'm sure the California alumni can't wait to get to a basketball game instead of watching it on TV. Need proof? Check out the following website: San Diego Illini Club.

Should we make it past this weekend, which I think we have a very good chance of doing, our fanbase in Washington, DC is one of the best in the country.

Although it won't be like playing in Indy, Chicago and St. Louis like last year, I do think it is impressive for recruits to turn on their televisions and see Illinois playing far from home and still have a ton of orange in the stands.

By the way, from Selection Sunday to San Diego, Tupper is providing great insights on his blog here.

2. Iowa fans. Yes, I am saying "say what?" to the things coming out of their mouths this week. Yes they won the Big Ten Tournament but I have Iowa fans telling me they won the Big Ten Title. One fan even went so far as to say they should be Big Ten Champs of everything basketball because they beat THE Ohio State twice. (Under that logic I guess you'd have to say we should share the regular season title with them since we split our regular season games...even though they don't seem to know the difference between the regular season and the Big Ten Tourney).

My favorite Iowa comment came today, however, by the Iowa fan who harassed Skinny Sweetcheeks. We're eating dinner tonight and she tells me this Iowa fan was in her office today saying that Dee Brown drags down the Illini. Wow. There is not one Iowa fan out there who, if Dee Brown were playing on their team, would not be singing his praises to the high heavens right now.

What are they teaching at that university? Not logic and common sense, that is for sure.

3. Rick F: Thank you for your comment and I agree. The Illini must bring it. 110 percent. If they do, they will be very dangerous. If not, get ready to bury your head in your hands.

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