Illinois Fighting Illini versus Wisconsin Badgers! BASKETBALL LIVE BLOG BABY!




Happy New Year sports fans!  I’m forgoing the Bears and Packers at Lambeau, and we’re live blogging from THE Assembly Hall in Champaign!

I don’t want to say this is a must win game for the Illini…but….It’s a must win game for the Illini.  I’m finally going to leave an Illinois game with an impression about this team. This is making me, for one, nervous.

So strap yourselves in, Illini fans. And always remember, we’re right now 4 minutes from tipoff and….WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ BADGERS!!!

JUST BEFORE TIPOFF: Nerves everywhere. Still terrified of what this game might bring. Having flashbacks to last year’s disappointing team…MUST STOP….

INTROS: Crowd is tentatively fired up, that’s what I’ll call it. They aren’t really psyched. Billy Cole (EFFFFORRRRRT!) is starting at the three today, as Jereme Richmond has a tweaked Achilles. JRich will play, just not start.

TIPOFF: Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons starts for the Sconnies. I’m not going to look up his name for this game. He is Sideshow Bob from here on out.

19:45 left 1st Half: Nankivil hits a three to start the game. With 15 on the shot clock. Interesting. Also I hate Nankivil almost as much as that little Diebler bastard…

19:25 left 1st Half: BILL COLE!! FOR!!! THREEEEEEEEE!  EFFORT!

17:15 left 1st Half: Demetri just gashes the Sconnie defense and lays it in. Currently, if the Illini push it, Wisconsin isn’t getting back on D, and they are NOT sliding over and helping…

15:30 left 1st Half: So far we have learned that Jordan Taylor cannot defend Meechi. Not one bit. Illinois can penetrate EVERY time down the court.

13:35 left in 1st Half: Weird first part of the game, and we’re in the 16:00 TV TO…The Badgers are running, and leading, 15-13 early — However, this pace REALLY favors the Illini. Wisconsin’s interior D is…leaving something to be desired. They aren’t getting inside and they aren’t creating much help, and it looks like the Illini could penetrate all day long. That, also, doesn’t bode well for the Badgers.

12:45 left 1st Half: Nice basket for JRich, and yes, he elevated. His Achilles looks fine…17-15 Sconnies…

11:55 left 1st Half: Mike Davis attacking the rim ties the game.  Yes, you read that right.

11:10 left 1st Half: We’re at the under 12:00 timeout and the Illini still trail by two, 19-17. Not much happened in the two minutes of game, but the Illini still look like the aggressors.

11:05 left 1st Half: First Illini lead of the game on BP3 for 3!

10:05 left 1st Half: We just saw the Illini press. No, again, seriously, we did. And someone broke out the “TCU!” chant…who had 10 minutes left for that one?

9:00 left 1st Half: Nankivil for three again. GOD I hate that guy.

8:45 left 1st Half: Cames to the bench, critical stretch here. Also, GREAT effort rebound from Billy Cole after a Tyler Griffey miss.


6:45 left 1st Half: These officials are REFUSING to call travelling on either team. It’s very consistent, but maddening. Brandon Paul just drove and laid it in, AGAIN an Illini player gashing the Sconnie defense. I’m nost sure what’s up with their D today…

6:11 left 1st Half: Under 8 minute TO here, Illini lead by four, 29-25. Illinois shooting 67 percent from the field so far in the half, with a LOT of layups. And the Illini Pep Band is playing Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face,” so surely this is the seventh seal of the apocalypse…

6:11 left 1st Half: I’ve been as big of an advocate as anyone of starting Jereme Richmond over Bill Cole, but hell, he’s been the best player on the court for the Illini today…

5:10 left 1st Half: On the same possession, we just learned that Sideshow Bob cannot defend either Demetri McCamey OR Mike Tisdale. Which leads one to wonder who he can defend…

3:55 left 1st Half: No, THIS is the seventh seal of the apocalypse: Mike Tisdale with 6 consecutive points for the Illini now…We’re at the under four TO and the Illini lead by seven. Wisconsin is shooting well from long range early, and funnily enough shooting MORE threes than the Illini so far (15-5 in that department). It looks like they’ll need to keep lofting those threes. For whatever reason, Illinois’ interior play on both sides of the ball is looking tough compared to Wisconsin.

2:30 left 1st Half: Sconnies RELENTLESS with the three ball in this one so far…6-17 now.

:51.1 left 1st Half: Hmm…some gifty fouls for the Sconnies there as they close the lead to one…

HALFTIME: Well…ok. Solid first half for the Illini, but they only lead by three. I still think that the Illini have gotten a little too jump-shooty for my taste given the hay they have been making inside so far. Illinois will have to get inside more in the second half, because that is where they have dominated.

13:53 left 2nd Half: ANNNNNNNND….I’m back after some internet struggles. Many thanks to our buddy Chuck at for letting us tether to his Droid. There has been a SUCKFEST for like six minutes of this half, but the Illini lead 43-48.

13:29 left 2nd Half: HOLY CRAP! What a difference 24 seconds makes. Let’s just call it what it is. BILLY COLE FOR THREE! EFFFOOORRRRT! He is the Illini’s leading scorer so far today and has four rebounds a steal and a charge drawn. He is Keaton Nankivil but less annoying.

12:00 left 2nd Half: HOLY CRAP! GREAT BLOCK by Bill Cole. GREAT BLOCK by Bill Cole. Foul called. Unreal. That was terrible.

11:51 left 2nd Half: It’s the under 12:00 time out and the Illini lead 50-40. I am also checking in to say I love Meyers Leonard and I want you to, too.

10:55 left 2nd Half: Bo Ryan just yelled at the ref and said, “There were two guys in there, not one!” Ummm….that’s what she said, Bo?

10:00 left 2nd Half: If you’re thinking it has been a long time since the Sconnies scored, it has been, as they have no FGs since the 16:57 mark of the second half…

9:40 left 2nd Half: Wisconsin should hire me as a jinx breaker…Jordan Taylor layup…

7:44 left 2nd Half: Oy. All the good feelings are gone…Sconnies within seven with the ball. Illinois really had a chance to put a boot on the Badgers’ throat and crush it but haven’t. Now it looks like their lead could get halved. Yes, just like the brother in Dewey Cox.

6:57 left 2nd Half: 9 Badger fouls to the Illini’s 4.  Umm…ok…

5:59 left 2nd Half: Bo Ryan wanted an over the back on Mike Davis on his last big-time effort rebound, but none was called. Mainly because not only did Davis not jump, he went straight up. Nankivil fell backwards towards him (a fadeaway rebound?).

5:56 left 2nd Half: The tenth foul on the Badgers was on Jon Leuer, and I’m unimpressed by the foul wit h2 seconds left on the shot clock. He is a smarter player than that, and even though Cames was going baseline for a layup, you can’t commit that foul.

4:35 left 2nd Half: Cames!!! FOR!!! THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  Huge three there builds the Illini lead back to ten. And now he drives HARD to the hole and draws a foul. Just a great effort here by Demetri as he puts us on his back.

3:32 left 2nd Half: Ewwwww tough sequence there for the Illini as the Sconnies got like 23 three-point attempts…Illinois had a couple rebounds in hand but were fighting each other for them and lost them.

3:00 left 2nd Half: CAMES FOR THREEEEEEE!!!! He has taken the game over.

2:03 left 2nd Half: Illinois leaves Jon Leuer open.  Guess what happened? If you said three pointer, you win a prize!  63-57 Illini.

1:20 left 2nd Half: HUGE block on Mike Davis as the Badgers recognized the mismatch with BP3 D’ing up Jon Leuer. Well, it wasn’t hard to recognize, there was an 8 inch difference in height, but still…

:33.2 left 2nd Half: Illini lead by 9 with not much time left….should hang on for the win here.  More later from the post-game.

69-61 FINAL, ILLINI WIN: I’m still not sure about this Illinois team. I thought I was going to learn something and….I don’t think I did. Apparently this is a good win against a ranked opponent, but it never felt like the Illini were in control OR running away with it. The Badgers took an astonishing 35 threes, something I’d have expected from the Illini, and only hit 10 of them. SOLID perimeter defense by the Illini, which is typically a bugaboo for them.

Still, a win is a win, and the Illini need it. That’s all from here for now. Some type of post-game post will be up in a bit. Thanks for reading, everyone!

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  1. Nick Grays says

    Probably a must win for the Badgers basketball team as well. If the Packers and Badgers lose today, depression rates will be at a high in Wisconsin.

  2. paulmbanks says

    agreed Nick.yesterday was pretty tough. I was in Dallas wheand when they announced the final score of the rose bowl on the plane, the peeps were pretty psyched. this is the WHITEST Wis team I’ve ever seen.

    they’re white even by sconnie standards

  3. paulmbanks says

    why is josh gasser starting? who’s hurt? I thought he was one of the walk-ons

  4. paulmbanks says

    I’d make fun of Ryan Evans’ extremely stupid haircut, but I have a feeling that’s been done enough already. I’m assuming people do that every wis road game

  5. Nick Grays says

    Josh Gasser has started most of the season. This Badgers team can shoot, but not like the Illini when they’re on!

  6. That’s Sideshow Bob to you, PB….

  7. Nick Grays says

    Entertaining First Half! This season’s Badgers team is not your typical Badgers team. A mediocre inside game with tons of threes. I wasn’t sure if that was the gameplan for the non-conference season, but they seem to be doing the same thing in their two Big Ten games.

  8. paulmbanks says

    Gasser is a cleancut guy. bruesiwtz is the sideshow bob look alike

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