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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#16 Illini Destroy Hoosiers, 6-0 Despite Not Playing a Complete Game

Illinois (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) is off to its best start since the 1951 National Title team went 7-0.

The Hoosiers (1-5, 0-2) lost their third in a row, have not beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision team this season and lost 13 consecutive against the Top 25 since a 31-28 victory over then #13 Iowa Hawkeyes on Oct. 14, 2006.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Illinois essentially spotted Indiana 10 points today, and seemed to be down double digits right after getting off the bus. They also had far inferior special teams to IU today, and that 41-20 final score wasn’t very indicative of how solidly Illinois beat them, or at least how solidly Illinois should have defeated them.

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Illini Announce Official Wrigley Day, Basketball Italy Trip

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The University of Illinois I Fund  hosts its annual Illini Day at Wrigley Field on Saturday, May 14, when the Chicago Cubs take on the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants at 6:10 p.m.

Illinois college football coach Ron Zook will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and Illini college basketball coach Bruce Weber will sing the 7th-Inning stretch.

The I Fund is also hosting a two hour pre-game celebration at Cubby Bear; guests will include Zook, Weber, and members of their respective staffs. Package includes unlimited draft drink package and dinner buffet.

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Blame for Disappointing Illini Season Goes Well Beyond Senior Class

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In the bracket of non-existent, 2009-2011 Illini basketball leadership has got to be a #1 seed.

And I’m not singling out Coach Bruce Weber, or point guard/star player Demetri McCamey. I’m talking about the total team’s overall tendency to just NOT get things done together as a team. If Notre Dame is Gestalt, and a cohesive unit playing well beyond the sum of their parts, then Illinois is a bunch of underachieving square pegs in round holes.

Handling success instead of fearing of it, winning the close games, not being mental midgets in the face of adversity: these qualities have been missing the past two years. And ever since the Illini started dropping games to teams that are half as talented as they are, we media members started getting extremely critical of both Weber and the seniors.

No wonder Weber described the internet as a “mean place.” But let’s say he’s right.

Let’s say the criticism of the seniors is unwarranted and undeserved. Where else can you point the finger?

By Paul M. Banks

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Illini Stayin’ Alive for NCAA Tournament Berth


Well you can tell by the way they use their walk that…well, they haven’t played themselves out of NCAA tournament contention yet.

Was that all just an excuse to lead in with that smarmy photo of Disco John Travolta? Yes. Yes it was.

But it still needs to be said that, after 29 games, the Illinois Fighting Illini men’s college basketball team still is hanging around the NCAA tournament picture.

And even better, their case for a bid continues to get stronger. [Read more…]