Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Making History

The Kohl Center is not a friendly place to play. In fact, unranked opponents almost always leave with a L. Only NDSU won there a couple years ago. And for Big Ten teams, heading to the Kohl Center unranked was a guaranteed L.

So the Illini victory, 63-56, really did make history. Go Illini!

Honestly, the game was played mostly at the Badgers' pace, slow, methodical and not that exciting. Bo Ryan and his team got off to a great start, and led by as many as 11 in the first half. The Illini struggled to score in the opening minutes. In fact, Mike Tisdale was the only player who could consistently find the bottom of the net for a while.

Here are a few things the Illini learned tonight:
The whole game felt a bit lethargic, and the Grateful Red weren't as intense as they could have been. I'm not quite sure how the Illini managed to chip away and catch the Badgers. Although the Illini outrebounded Wisconsin, they had more turnovers and allowed 11 3-pointers.

But they did. The Illini made history. Did the impossible. Bo Ryan doesn't have many losses at home, but the Illini are responsible for 3 of them.

[Side note: I find it fascinating that Penn State can nail the Illini, but that the Illini can get to Wisconsin.]

Next up...another tough game against the Buckeyes at home. Go Illini!

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