Illini Meyers Leonard at NBA Draft Combine (Video)

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The Sports Bank’s Ngozi Ekeledo stopped by the 2012 NBA Draft Combine’s Media Day and talked to the former University of Illinois big man about why he made the decision to leave school early for the NBA.

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2012 Big Ten Tournament Preview & Predictions

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The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off Thursday, March 8, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Heading into the tournament, the Big Ten continues to lead all conferences in the RPI and Sagarin ratings and is the only conference in the country with five top-15 teams.

So you could easily say it’s the toughest conference in college basketball. But it doesn’t mean the games will be the prettiest; in fact you might see a couple ugly ones.

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Big 10 Power Rankings 1-27-11

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Ohio State or Michigan State? Who’s number one? Welcome to the Big Ten power rankings.

Go here for our most recent Big East Power Rankings, which are probably more informative and accurate than the rankings below will turn out.

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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings 1-11-12

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I’ve always said that doing power rankings is only fun (and worth reading) when the hierarchy is rather grey and things are up in the air. PRs are kind of stupid and pointless when you get towards the end of regular season and close to conference tournament time- if you’re the sort who has rankings similar to the standings.

But doing them now is rather fun! Are things grey instead of black and white? Well, Iowa won at the Kohl Center. Is the hierarchy up in the air? Purdue lost by 20 at Penn State. Questions answered.

Go here for our most recent Big East Power Rankings, which are probably more informative and accurate than the rankings below will turn out.

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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Many Happy Returns Edition

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Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, today is a day NO ONE is at work. There’s no Federal services, no trading on the stock market this Monday. It’s December 26th, so if you’re a mindless-zombie-worker bee-corporate drone-lemming, I know exactly where you are today- at the mall making your Christmas gift returns. (Remember to take the receipts!)

I’m guessing I know what you did on the day after Thanksgiving too, door busters! But for those of us who actually have a shred of individuality, let’s move on to the Big Ten basketball POWER rankings. The cupcake/puff scheduling is over. You ever wonder why the weak mid/low-majors get referred to as pastries? Baked goods are considered sugary and weak I guess. Now it’s time for the “meat and potatoes” of Big Ten conference play. Enjoy!

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2011-12 Illini Have Competitive Advantage over ’10-’11 Version

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It’s rather ironic when you think about it. Last year’s Illini basketball team entered the year with exceedingly high expectations; the theme was last dance for a talented senior trio. This year’s team entered with zero expectations. The theme was rebuilding and re-establishing. Yet, if it were somehow possible to get the two teams to play each other I’d pick this year’s squad every single time.

For argument sake, the game would have to be with a cloned subset of the players who were on both teams, I mean 2011 Meyers Leonard would be on the roster of last year’s team and 2012 Meyers Leonard would be on this year’s team.

And I still think last year’s squad had more overall talent; but this year’s squad has much more heart and the ability to handle both success and failure.

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#22 Illini Escape St. Bonnies 48-43; Season Uglier than 9-0 Record

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It would be fair to say that last year’s Illini basketball team might have lost a game like last night. After all, the 2010-11 Illinois team lost to lowly UIC in a de facto home game at the United Center while being ranked #12.

And they failed to win back-to-backs from mid-January on. You could say they didn’t handle success very well. The 2011-12 Illini might have a similar problem; yet they somehow won a game “like this.”

And by “like this” I mean the UIC loss last year, or the 38-33 defeat to Penn State in 2009.
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