SIU basketball team currently stranded on interstate by blizzard

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SIU basketball was quite relevant in the 2000s, winning a few NCAA Tournament games here and there. The Salukis were a staple in March Madness, but then vanished into obscurity when Chris Lowery took over the program and couldn’t duplicate the success of Bruce Weber and Matt Painter. We forgot about SIU basketball entirely until right before Christmas when SIU basketball coach Barry Hinson gave us this epic rant for the ages.

Well, SIU basketball is back on the front pages for something that doesn’t involve college basketball. The team bus is currently stranded on Interstate-57 downstate. They were traveling back to campus following a bad loss at Illinois State in Normal, IL. The vicious winter storm has them trapped near Tuscola, IL. That’s right near Champaign-Urbana; right in the heart of Illini country.

Worse yet, the Salukis are being forced to spend the rest of the night on the bus, as I-57 is closed to all traffic.

The Champaign County sheriff spokespeople are saying that snow plows are no longer on the road and drivers are warned that traveling on roads in the county is at their own peril. Illinois State police will not allow a two truck to come help them.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the bus for “Floor Burn U.” has enough gas, heat and food to last them through the night. So don’t worry too much about the SIU basketball team, they’re going to be alright.

“They have plenty of gas, heat and food, so they’re just hanging out,” SIU basketball director Mario Moccia told the Post-Dispatch. “The worst-case scenario is they spend the night on the bus right there. The best case is that they get a tow truck in there and go to a hotel in Tuscola.”

Barry Hinson, who had traveled separately, was also stranded in a vehicle, though he was located about an hour south in Mattoon, IL. So he is not stranded with the team right now.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments discussing, Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Bears and Bulls on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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