#10 Illinois Fighting Illini suffer first loss to #17 Missouri

john groce

Before we get to the breakdown of what happened in the Illinois Fighting Illini first loss, (Illinois was one of the last 6 unbeaten teams remaining in the nation) suffered at the hands of the Missouri Tigers 82-73, a few observations and notes on this series and rivalry overall, with updated stats.

-Why is this even called the Braggin’ Rights game? I mean seriously, how many of you Illini people actually have Mizzou people to tell how much they suck? (after Illinois wins of course)

-Why does this arena have a NBA three-point line on the floor? There hasn’t been a NBA team in St. Louis since 1965? (And why were Brandon Paul and company bombing away from that spot so much?

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#5 Missouri Tigers: College Basketball 111 in 111

Missouri cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Despite losing five key contributors from last year’s very thin team, the Missouri Tigers should still be a threat in their inaugural season in the SEC thanks to the addition of four transfers and return of Laurence Bowers from injury.

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UPDATED 2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25

ucla hoops

Here is an updated on my preseason Top 25 for the 2012-2013 college basketball.  With transfers, the decisions of some previously undeclared top high school recruits, and players declaring their intentions to return to school or leave for the NBA Draft, there has been a lot of movement since I released my original rankings the day after the National Championship game.  (Click here for a list of NBA Draft early entries.) Leave a comment below if you think a team is too high, too low, not getting enough respect, or if you notice an error in a projected roster.  (Click here for my way too early preseason rankings from last season.)

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UPDATED 2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25 (PART 2)

ucla hoops

Here are teams 16-25 in my updated 2012-2013 preseason college basketball Top 25 and other teams who just missed the cut.

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2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25

uk national champs

With the Kentucky Wildcats cutting down the nets last night, we can officially close the book on the 2011-2012 college basketball season.  Hoop junkies like myself are already looking ahead to next season so allow me to present to you my way too early 2012-2013 preseason Top 25.

There are still several factors that could alter a teams roster between now and the start of next season.  Some of the top players are still debating on whether or not to enter the NBA Draft, some teams will lose players to transfer, and five McDonald’s All-Americans remain undecided on their college decision including the top two recruits in the 2012 class; Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel.

So here is my preliminary preseason Top 25.  I will updated these rankings once the NBA Draft early entries list is complete and Muhammaed and Noels make their college decision.  Leave a comment below if you think a team is too high, too low, not getting enough respect, or if you notice an error in a projected roster.  (Click here for my way too early preseason rankings from last season.)

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2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25 (PART 2)

uk national champs

Here are teams 16-25 in my 2012-2013 preseason college basketball Top 25 and other teams who just missed the cut.

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Mizzou bounced early, yet Haith wins Coach of the Year

missouri cheerleaders

To most college basketball fans, and even the Athletic Directors, it’s all about March. How far you go in the NCAA Tournament is everything. Forget the regular season and conference tournaments.

This is quite possibly the greatest example of how these awards are completely regular season oriented, and not postseason.

Missouri’s Frank Haith is the 2011-12 recipient of the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

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College Basketball’s Most Surprising Teams This Season

cody zeller iu

Yesterday I looked at the most disappointing teams of the 2011-2012 college basketball season thus far, now it is time to analyze which teams have exceeded expectations and the reason for their surprising success.  At the top of that list, the resurrection of the Indiana Hoosiers.

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Illini Show they’re Still “Fighting,” Give #9 Mizzou a True Scare

meyers-leonard-hot-girl

If you’re an Illini basketball fan, you’ve got to feel much better about this loss 78-74 to #9 12-0 Missouri Tigers team than you do about the last three wins.

I’ll repeat and explain because I know it’s a very odd sounding sentence. You’ve got to feel much better about this Illinois game tonight when they were down double digits to an undefeated, top ten team yet clawed their way back to take the lead, a few times than: needing Brandon Paul to bail them out in the final minutes at home to a mediocre St. Bonaventure team, failing to close out Coppin St. until late in the second half, and barely escaping by 4 points at home to a .500 Ivy League team (Cornell).

I guess we do their identity now: a team that plays up and down to its competition. Which means they’ll fit right in in this wide open Big Ten.

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College Basketball: The Week Ahead (12/20/11)

Missouri cheerleaders

College Hoops 101 has undergone a facelift.  My weekly breakdown of the past week in college basketball and look ahead will now be split into two parts.  (Click here for a look at the past week.)  This week’s edition of the “The Week Ahead” looks at the best games of the up-coming week including a preview of the annual Braggin’ Rights game between Missouri and Illinois, and why Xavier will be upset in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic.

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College Basketball: The Week Ahead (12/6/11)

john calipari tom crean

As part of our College Hoops 101 facelift, this feature will now include looking ahead to the top games in the upcoming week.  You can check out the highlights of last week in the world of college basketball by clicking here.  A pair of interesting non-conference rivalries are renewed this week when Xavier meets Cincinnati and Kentucky visits Indiana in a battle of unbeaten teams.

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#29 Missouri Tigers: College Basketball 111 in 111

missouri cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Missouri Tigers program has been all over the radar this off-season; due to conference realignment rumors, new head coach Frank Haith’s possible connection to the scandal at Miami, and most recently, a season-ending injury to senior Laurence Bowers.  The latter of those dropped Mizzou several spots in my rankings and means the Tigers enter the season with only eight eligible scholarship players.

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