Thursday, March 05, 2009


Coach Carmody, we have a new appreciation for how you felt a few weeks ago. That last shot hurt. A lot.

After leading most of the game, shooting relatively well, sharing the ball nicely and keeping it even on the boards, the Illini defense couldn't hold up. Talor Battle found the basket, much like he did in Champaign. And the Nittany Lions came back once more at home to claim their 10th conference win.

Of course, the Illini didn't need to be in that position in the first place, but free throws just weren't there. And that doesn't work on the road.

Despite the disappointing losses to end the regular season, note that this Illini team still over-achieved. Coming off a losing season, the Illini just now started their first losing streak -- at 2. Granted it's the wrong time of year to lose and doesn't help build momentum heading into March, but at this time last year, the prospects for the 2008-09 season looked bleak. And yet the Illini will take some time off before the conference tournament, and they get to skip the first round. And the talk this week was about NCAA seeding, which means that the Illini are expected to head back to the Big Dance in a couple weeks. Not bad.


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