Posts tagged "illinois"

Twitter reacts to dark moment in Illinois basketball history

Twitter reacts to dark moment in Illinois basketball history

Illinois basketball won't be ranked again any time soon. They responded to being nationally ranked by getting DESTROYED at Wisconsin by 25 points, and then failing to play offense for 3/4 of a game that will go down as one of the worst losses in Illinois basketball history. It's certainly the worst loss of the John Groce era, and among the worst of 2010s Illinois basketball.

Conversely, it's the biggest win of the very very brief Chris Collins era at Northwestern. You wouldn't think a team with records and statistics that bad would actually beat a ranked team this year. But hey, this is Illinois basketball. Time to talk CBI and NIT, because 2013-14 Illinois basketball just suffered a tournament resume black eye from which they won't likely recover.

Here's some Illinois basketball fans and journalists and sports pundits reacting to the biggest win Collins has accomplished, and the death knell for the '13-14 Illinois basketball season
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Northwestern vs Illini Basketball Preview: Battle for Chicago Media Supremacy

Northwestern vs Illini Basketball Preview: Battle for Chicago Media Supremacy
I love it when my two press corps get together! Illini basketball vs Northwestern. It's going down...I'm yelling Timber. You better move, you better dance. Sorry, couldn't pass that up. It's just that NU and Illini basketball, and football are the two programs, along with the Chicago Bulls, that I cover regularly. Therefore, the once a year that they play each other is special to me as I "belong" to both press corps. The media room at this one is always a lot of fun for me. I even do a weekly segment on KOZN, 1620 The Zone Omaha, talking about Illinois and Northwestern. (UPDATE: NU to unveil new publicity-grabbing uniforms for this game) Sunday night, 6:30 PM at Welsh-Ryan Arena will mark the one time they meet this year in hoops. There might be a round two at the Big Ten Tournament in Indy. If it were up to me, I'd keep them meeting just once a year, and have it at the United Center each time...

Northwestern Football Showed Tremendous Heart and Fight This Season

Northwestern Football Showed Tremendous Heart and Fight This Season
I have more respect and admiration for Northwestern football right now than I have previously had at any point in my life. I think even higher of the NU football program, as they finish the season 5-7, as I did when they were 4-0 and ranked #16 in the nation. Now, I've been very critical of NU this season. I've been extremely harsh on this team. Maybe I've been too critical, or undeservedly critical of Pat Fitzgerald and his Northwestern football program at times, but it's only because I believe they're a very solid program that should be treated with the exact same scrutiny as the Ohio States and Michigans of the world. And that 7 game losing streak was....to quote George Michael in "Careless Whisper," "there's no comfort in the truth, pain is all you'll find." I feel NU should be held to very high standards. And I write this 1,000 word essay just moments after they defeated my beloved Alma Mater, in the Land of Lincoln trophy game, so you know this expression comes from the heart. And to be fair, as harshly critical as I've been of Northwestern football, I've been even harder on my Illini, Illinois football coach Tim Beckman, and especially harsh on Illini Defensive Coordinator Tim Banks. And to show fairness and balance, I've also written a lot of fawning stuff about Northwestern football in 2013. I've written pulchritudinous pieces that purple propagandists (should) passionately promote. And perhaps no media member beat the drum to bring ESPN College Gameday to Evanston as loud as I did. And I challenge you to find anyone who covered the Gameday at Northwestern University experience with as much effort and zeal as I did. One topic I never addressed in 2013, positively or negatively, is the tremendous heart and resilient fight of this team. Now's the time...
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Northwestern and Illinois Alums in Sports Media: Ultimate List

Northwestern and Illinois Alums in Sports Media: Ultimate List
No one hates Northwestern. No one possibly could. Well, the main purple flag waver in sports media today also happens to be the most hated man in sports media, but that’s a different issue. You can’t hate the school just because D-Money (CC @TheGoodDrJim) went there. Well, University of Illinois grads do in fact hate Northwestern. You can see it in the way Illini people schadenfreude the train wreck that is the 2013 Northwestern football season. I’ve told my people not to take joy in what’s happened at NU. (The local and national media declaring Northwestern BCS bound and Pat Fitzgerald the next Nick Saban, only to see it come crashing all down into a college football season that will have no bowl appearance). So where does the hate come from? The “Chicago’s Big Ten Team” marketing campaign. All Big Ten alumni bases in Chicago took offense to it, none more so than the University of Illinois. From there, the University of Illinois Alumni Association took a couple shots at Northwestern and then things took off from there! When Tim Beckman took over the Illini program, he put up a big N Cat logo with a line through it in the Illini football meeting room. Then he made his team slogan W.I.N. or W.I.N.T. “Whatever is needed Today.” After Northwestern had “W.I.N. What’s Important Now” for many years. So we have a legitimate rivalry on our hands. And the rivalry game will be played Saturday, in Champaign, 2:30 on Big Ten Network. Northwestern is 3.5 point favorites. It’s the LOL Bowl, the Land of Lincoln trophy or LOL trophy game. And given how both of these teams are playing, the LOL contest will certainly have you ROTFL or LMAO. Here’s my game preview and prediction at this link. But for this post I’ve listed as many Northwestern and Illinois alums in the national and local sports media as I'm aware of...

2013 Big Ten Basketball Media Day Helps Me Through Football Season

2013 Big Ten Basketball Media Day Helps Me Through Football Season
Big Ten Basketball Media Day is literally just hours away now. THANK GOD. It helps me. This idea gets me through football season. Big Ten Basketball Media Day helps me, by acting as a healing mechanism. It's unofficially opening day, signaling hope anew; and rescue from the despair of football season. Big Ten basketball season cannot get here fast enough. Especially for someone like me, who covers two college football teams, Northwestern and Illinois who are #10 and #11 in everybody’s conference power rankings. Then again college basketball season is always something that never gets here soon enough for me. I prefer college hoops over college football. And I should; I attended two college hoops power houses (University of Illinois '99, Michigan State MBA). College basketball, not the NBA or NFL or college football "is my bag baby." I love college hoops as much as I despise Facebook Fan pages. I like to watch college basketball as much as I like to ignore invitations to "Like" Facebook Fan Pages. I enjoy watching March Madness as much as I enjoy never clicking on mommy-blogs. (Seriously, is the mommy-blogger craze over yet??)...
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    Paul M. Banks

    Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Former political writer for Washington Times.com, NBC Chicago.com and numerous business journals Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs. Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.

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