Thursday, January 26, 2012

Anybody Want a Ranking?

So far this season in the Big Ten, one of the best ways to secure a win is to play a ranked opponent.

Illinois was on the better end of that trend against #5 Ohio State a couple weeks ago, but once they made it into the top 25 (barely), they did everything they could to fall from the rankings. At Penn State, it was plenty of turnovers combined with not-their-best defense. Against Wisconsin, they just stalled before the clock ran out.

The Big Ten is a very competitive conference, and as Penn State, Minnesota and Nebraska have shown, anyone can win any game. But the Illini were poised to prove they are contenders for the top of the conference this year. And they weren't able to step up.

Yes, any road game is going to be tough, but the Penn State game (as usual) was winnable. Of course that contact technical was a turning point in that game, but it was still a great chance to steal a W on the road.

But you must protect home court. And unfortunately the Illini didn't do that against Wisconsin's blistering 3-point shooting. Tough loss at home, for sure.

Next up, Minnesota. The boys will have had almost a week to dwell on those loses. Let's hope they are ready...


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