Monday, March 15, 2010

Next Illini Try: NIT

As the brackets were revealed I was very disappointed, although not totally surprised, that the Illini didn't make the NCAA. They had plenty of opportunities to secure a spot, but they couldn't get it done.

But for those who like to point fingers and blame others, I'd point to Michigan. Had they put more pressure on tOSU last Friday in the last 3.2 seconds, Evan Turner may not have gotten off the game winning shot. The way the Illini played Saturday, they likely would have been able to beat Michigan. That puts them in the Big Ten Championship. As far as the Committee is concerned, I think they have to put any team playing in that game on a line somewhere. They simply don't have time to make any changes between the end of that game (or even halftime) and the beginning of the Selection Show.

However, there were plenty of games that slipped away that could have put the Illini in long before this past weekend.

A #1 seed in the NIT isn't what the Illini had hoped for, but let's take it.

First up, Stony Brook. The Illini play Wednesday in Connecticut. (They could have hosted the game, but Assembly Hall is booked by Cirque du Soleil.) If the Illini play like they did at the Big Ten Tournament, they could make a strong run in the NIT. A trip to NYC isn't completely out of the question. But if they play like they did the last 2 weeks of the regular season, they could have plenty of time to enjoy spring break on some beach, somewhere.

Go Illini!

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