Giorgi Bezhanishvili Has the Best Advice to Get Through Pandemic

Giorgi Bezhanishvili and the #21 ranked Illnois Fighting Illini were on the verge of making the program’s first NCAA Tournament since 2013 when the postseason got canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The sophomore forward from Rustavi, Georgia realizes that the world is facing problems that are much bigger than basketball, but it still hurts to think about what they missed out on.

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Brad Underwood Provides Updates on Illini Offseason

brad underwood

Illinois Fighting Illini coach Brad Underwood met the media via teleconference today, in an extensive session that covered a wide range of topics. Illinois finished the season ranked #21 in the nation, and they were projected to be about a #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

They stood a great chance of progressing to the second weekend of March Madness. “We assumed we’d be making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament so there wouldn’t be any spring break,” Underwood said today of the team’s plans in early March, and how they gelled with the school’s academic calendar.

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John Calipari Gives Conditioning Advice for Quarantine

The new normal for sports media consists of Zoom, Cisco WebEx and teleconferences. Gone are press conferences and locker room access. For athletes doing strength training, the new normal consists of bench press pressing tires, pulling/pushing motor vehicles and jumping on to garbage cans.

They’ve had to say goodbye to the weight room and any kind of training in groups. Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari, while on Zoom teleconference with the media, pointed out the challenges basketball players have right now to stay in shape and keep their skills fresh.

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John Calipari Gives Updates on Draft Process, Recruiting, More

Zoom, WebEx, Skype- this is our lives as sports reporters for the foreseeable future. It’s an adjustment to be sure, but it’s still a bit weird. It’s what we all have to do though, as every single one of us must mobilize for the greater good. We all miss March Madness of course, but there is absolutely no way the games could have been played under current conditions.

In a year with no clear favorite, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari had a team that could have definitely won it all. Betting on UK in the NCAA Tournament has a been a profitable endeavor over the years, as this accumulator calculator can show you. With eight NCAA Tournament championships and 17 Final Fours in their history, a lot of people have won green betting on big blue.

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Schedule of Classic NCAA Tournament Games Airing this Week

For many of us, the NCAA Tournament, “March Madness,” is the greatest time of the year. Obviously we won’t have it this year. And while that’s absolutely awful for all involved, it’s completely neccessary and the right thing to do, for our civilization.

Hey, misery loves company, so we’re all going without the NCAA Tournament together. That’s where CBS Sports Network comes in as they will re-air 26 classic NCAA Tournament games, highlighting the first two rounds up until the Elite Eight.

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Giorgi Bezhanishvili Works on Post Moves in Quarantine (Video)

Giorgi Bezhanishvili may not have the kind of season that a lot of Illini basketball fans had hoped for, but he’s still the team’s alpha dog when it comes to having a phenomenal sense of humor.

Illinois’ best player? No. The guy on the squad with the most personality? Absolutely! You can see why Illini coach Brad Underwood raves about the sophomore from Rustavi Georgin, Georgia and his magnetic charm in the video below.

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Ayo Dosunmu: Future of Illini PG More Uncertain than Ever

With all of college sports shut down now for the time being, a lot of questions persist. When will they restart? How does this effect recruiting and NBA Draft early entry? What will happen with the NBA Draft exploratory process? The Combine?

Will there even be a combine or a draft? Illinois sophomore point guard Ayo Dosunmu is someone for whom all these questions definitely apply. He had an opportunity to potentially pursue the next level last off-season, and he will, at least in theory or on paper, have another chance this off-season. The Morgan Park high school graduate has very high NBA Draft stock, but his hometown of Chicago, which hosts the combine every year, might not. After all, the combine is in early May, and the way things are right now, that seems pretty soon in terms of returning to normalcy.

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Brad Underwood Closes Book on Memorable Illini Basketball Season

brad-underwood illini basketball

Yesterday, Illini head basketball coach Brad Underwood spoke to the media and said goodbye for the season. It was special season that no Illinois fans wants to part with, but albeit here we are. We must grudgingly accept it.

“I think you just kind of pause for a moment, and you realize the abruptness of it, but you realize the raw emotion that’s going to be there and how bad you feel, yet in Illini basketball, there was a lot to be proud of, and I wanted to make sure that they understood what they had done,” Brad Underwood said at a press conference on March 13, 2020, about the recent announcements and cancellations in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They brought us back to national prominence. They brought us back to the NCAA Tournament.”

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John Calipari Believes He Had a National Title Level Squad

The college basketball season ended without one shining moment; for anybody. For John Calipari and the #8 Kentucky Wildcats, it ended without any postseason at all. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, and all the fear it’s causing, extreme caution was used and everything got cancelled, officially, today

The Wildcats end the 2019-20 season 25-6, SEC champions, and the #1 seed in a SEC conference tournament that didn’t happen. We’re all really sad to see college basketball end like this, and on this the season’s final day (almost a week before St. Patrick’s Day) John Calipari sent out a statement of reflection.

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Illini in Great Position to Improve NCAA Seeding at B1G Tourney

The #21 ranked Illinois Fighting Fighting Illini head into the Big Ten Tournament this week playing with house money, of sorts. This season has already seen Illinois lock up their: first NCAA Tournament berth since 2013, most conference wins since 2005 and highest seed in the Big Ten Tournament since 2009.

They can play calm and loose in the conference tournament this weekend, and hopefully that relaxed attitude will help them get some more wins in Indianapolis, and with that obtain a higher seeding in the NCAA Tournament. Let’s take a look at what’s ahead for them this week, and how that could shape what’s ahead in the following week and potentially beyond.

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Matt Painter Says Purdue Must Win the B1G Tourney to Make NCAAs

For Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter and his team, the margin for error is razor thin right now. Just outside the NCAA Tournament bubble, the Boilermakers need to, at the very least, reach the Big Ten Tournament title game to get back in the big dance mix. The season is not lost as of yet.

With the Big Ten Tournament final taking place after nearly all of the bracket has been filled out, the schedule works out to their advantage. Ditto for the location, as no Big Ten team is closer to Indianapolis than Purdue. Mackey Arena to Bankers Life Fieldhouse is 72.7 miles, an hour and 12 minute drive according to Google Maps.

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Illini Basketball is Truly Back, Ditto for Rivalry with Iowa Hawkeyes

March 8th, 2020 is a date that will be long remembered in Illini basketball history. 2019-20 Senior Night at the State Farm Center saw the #23 Illini defeat the #18 Iowa Hawkeyes in exciting fashion, 78-76. Illinois finishes the regular season 21-10, nearly a complete reversal of 2018-19’s mark of 12-21.

Tonight saw more heroics from the likes of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, key contributions from floor general Trent Frazier and more high-octane level play from Andres Feliz. Just one year ago, Illini basketball was far from a college basketball consensus pick, generated low levels of interest among fans, students and alumni. Last year, the arena often lacked energy. Tonight, led by The Orange Krush who waited hours to get in, the sold out stadium was electric.

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