Tag: illini ncaa tournament

Illini, Northwestern hoops schedule for ESPN, CBS National TV Released

Illini, Northwestern hoops schedule for ESPN, CBS National TV Released
I know it’s hard to think about college basketball when a.) it’s so freakin hot outside and b.) college football appetizers are served tomorrow night, with the main course just two days after that. However, the Big Ten announced its 2013-14 basketball conference schedule, with at least 49 games to be televised by CBS Sports or an ESPN Network. Remaining network assignments will be announced at a later date. Obviously, this will be highly subject to change, depending on how the teams perform, but if you want to grab your day planner and write down what you want to do in February and March, yes on a Late August afternoon, I won’t stop you. I’m certainly not expecting you to do that, but I won’t stop you either. Let’s look at where the Illini and Northwestern fit in...

Illini Athletics Increasing Visibility in Chicago; Every NCAA Tourney Win Helps

Illini Athletics Increasing Visibility in Chicago; Every NCAA Tourney Win Helps
Remember when the Illinois Fighting Illini spent most of the 2004-05 season ranked #1 in all of college basketball and went to the National Title game? And during the Final Four, the Chicago skyline included buildings lit up to spell "Illini?" And the Sears Tower had one antenna glowing orange, while the other was blue? Chicago was an especially Illini town then, every station and newspaper extensively covered the Illinois run through March Madness with great detail. The Final Four clinching victory was in Chicago too. (suburban Rosemont actually, but close enough) The amazing, improbable comeback win over Arizona made Deron Williams a man-crush for a generation of Illinois basketball fans. Making deep NCAA Tournament runs every March is the best way for Illinois to once again capture the minds of the journalists working in Chicago, the nation’s third largest media market. Lots of NCAA Tourney wins will capture the hearts of Chicagoans as well. University of Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas is aggressively promoting the Illini athletic programs in Chi-City, and Illini hoops coach John Groce has re-opened the recruiting pipeline to the Chicago Public League. Dyeing the river orange, hosting an Illini football game at Soldier Field, having a Chicago Homecoming and landing star CPL recruits will all help to make Chicago more of an Illini town. But the best way to market your product is through victories. And the best way to obtain more publicity is by winning on the brightest stage...

Illini Guard Brandon Paul: quite confident in his scoring ability

Illini Guard Brandon Paul: quite confident in his scoring ability
During today’s media session at the NCAA Tournament in Austin, Texas an irresistible force versus immovable object type storyline emerged. A potential battle on the wing tomorrow between Illini scoring machine Brandon Paul and Colorado’s Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year Andre Roberson. Everyone knows that the Illini are very reliant on Paul for scoring, and that Roberson always guards the biggest weapon that the Buffaloes' opposition has. And Brandon Paul is quite confident in his ability to score. He put up 43 last year versus an Ohio State team that later reached the Final Four. Brandon Paul scored 34 on Gonzaga this year, a #1 seed in the West Regional. In the Illini Big Ten Tournament victory over the Gophers, Paul was almost literally half of Illinois’ total scoring (25/49 points) So when Paul told the media today just how confident he is in his own scoring ability, he has the numbers to back it up. This season, BP3 had the highest scoring per game average by an Illinois player in ten years. Here’s the transcript...
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Illini NCAA Tournament Profile: Source of Much Media Debate

Illini NCAA Tournament Profile: Source of Much Media Debate
As the only team in the nation with three wins over opponents ranked in the top 10 of the most recent Associated Press poll, the Illini are a lock for the tourney, right? Not so fast my friend, the Illini NCAA Tournament profile will be heavily analyzed and scrutinized between now and selection sunday (which is also St. Patrick's Day). Especially during championship week, when bids are stolen and bubble teams burst, there will be a lot of media coverage over whether not Illinois deserves a bid. Unless of course, they get totally dominant or completely collapse. That won't happen as they look on pace to meet my preseason expectation of a 9-9 conference record. Minnesota had beaten them four in a row before tonight's 57-53 win in Minneapolis. This was reminiscent of the infamous 1999-2008 streak, when Illinois beat the Gophers 20 in a row. The Illini also ended a 10-game losing streak on the road against ranked Big Ten teams...