Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here We Go!

Welcome to the Big Ten! The conference season is going to be fun, although I may not have any fingernails left. (My mom did mention that I could wear gloves during the games...) Illinois is 1-0 in Big Ten play, and improved to 13-1 overall. And Purdue is a very surprising 0-1 in the conference. The Big Ten will beat up on each other all season, but the Illini stole one that, as Bruce said after the game, isn't one that many other teams will get.

The Illini played fairly well against the pre-season favorites to win the conference. And they played fairly well for a conference road game. Both teams were tight and missed way too many gimme shots underneath. But what a game!

The Illini jumped out to a quick lead, Purdue roared back, and then Illinois went on a run again and led (barely) for most of the game. Not an easy thing to do on the road in conference play. When Purdue grabbed the lead with just over 3 minutes to go, I figured the Illini had played really well on the road, but that they would inevitably not be able to hold on in such a hostile environment. Thanks for proving me wrong, boys!

This game bodes well for the rest of the season, and there was a lot to like:

But there are a couple areas that the Illini will need to work on to build on this big upset.

But wow! The Illini won a big game that just may push them into the top 25 next week. They've already exceeded expectations, and this promises to be a very interesting season.

Go Illini!


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