The #7 seed Illini hoops team begins their quest to win 6 in a row in the NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon versus #10 seed Colorado. Illini hoops may just be the greatest program in the history of college basketball NOT to have ever won the national championship. I'm not the first one to make this argument.
Illinois heads to Austin, the capitol of Texas,
where they'll play under the Friday night lights (well sort of, it'll be indoors but still night time in Texas when their game is done) needing the mantra of "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" to manifest the march madness cliche of "survive and advance." Illini hoops begins The Big Dance with a Texas two step
of the Colorado Buffaloes, and hopefully the winner of #2 seed Miami and #15 Pacific. Although highly unlikely, Pacific, the alma mater of former Illini football coach Ron Turner, would be a better draw.
hoops is making its 30th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, which is the second-highest number of Tournament appearances among Big Ten
schools, trailing only the Indiana Hoosiers
(37). Illinois ranks 13th among NCAA schools for most all-time Tournament appearances. This is Illini
hoops 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 14 years, and 25th in the last 33 years. The Illini
have compiled a 39-30 (.565) record all-time in NCAA Tournament games...
Doing a power rankings is fun and interesting in the beginning and/or middle of the season. Towards the end, it’s kind of useless. You just look at the standings. Also, preconference basketball doesn’t really mean as much as conference action. That’s when we’ll learn a lot more. Now that Butler has knocked off the #1 Hoosiers
, you know they’ll lose their spot at #1 here as well.
Guess who the new #1 is...
Last year’s Illinois Fighting Illini started 10-0, just like this year’s team. They finished an awful 17-15. But those were the Illini of Bruce Weber, not John Groce. With the 85-74 win at #10 Gonzaga last night, the first year coach has now produced the fastest start for a rookie coach in school history. 11... Read more »
Football season is thankfully over. Good riddance, and time to move on to hoops. First-year head coach John Groce has the Illinois Fighting Illini off to a 6-0 start this season. He is just the third Illini coach to begin his UI tenure with at least six consecutive wins. Illini Win EA Maui Invitational; Paul... Read more »
Former Illinois Fighting Illini
Center Meyers Leonard
greeted the media
yesterday at the 2012 NBA Draft
combine. Here’s some
of what he had to say about the process...
You’ve heard the expression “win the news conference.” Well, for the University of Illinois and the Illini basketball coaching hire of John Groce, that ship sailed weeks ago. Any time you get your sixth (possibly seventh) choice in a men’s basketball coach at a basketball school, your news conference is…well, you just hope there’s no... Read more »
The college basketball season is only five months long, so any time you’re talking about a winless month, it’s not a good sign. And in their seventh and final game of the year’s shortest month, the Illini would not come up short. They picked up a 65-54 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes, avoiding the February... Read more »
Iowa Hawkeyes country is college football country. Right now, it’s just not a college basketball town. Today’s loss at Illinois doesn’t help that. It was an Illini team that really needed a win, and for some reason Iowa can’t seem to beat Illinois lately. The Illini improved their record vs Iowa at home to 61-14... Read more »
The only McDonald’s All-American to be recruited by Bruce Weber, and the 2010 state of Illinois Mr. Basketball Jereme Richmond has finally found a place to play basketball again, in the Premier League. No, not that Premier League, the world’s finest soccer association in England. The ex-Illini forward will play for the Sauk Valley Predators... Read more »
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For Illini fans in 2011-12, both were true. In both revenue producing sports. On the college football gridiron, Illinois started 6-0, on the strength of some ugly wins: (Northwestern, Western Michigan), and ascended to #16 in the nation. They lost as favorites to... Read more »