Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Northwestern Wildcats, LIVE BLOG! The “Rivalry” Renews!!!

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OHHHHHHHHH It’s a family affair here at the Ass Hall tonight. Not really, but I feel like Northwestern is our “little brother”…

We’re three minutes to tipoff!  The purple weenies are here! There was a bigger crowd for Wisconsin (wait, that’s not good)…Northwestern HAS to win this game (wait, that’s worse…). Uh oh. Maybe this is gonna be trouble tonight…2:30 til tipoff and we find out!! [Read more…]

Will The Real Fighting Illini Basketball Team Please Stand Up?

Sometimes this job is easy. Sometimes it’s really, really hard.

Take the Illinois men’s basketball team for instance. Many people are saying that the Illinois-Texas tilt, a game the Longhorns won 90-84 in overtime, is the best game of this young season so far. I can’t possibly agree.

I saw two teams playing disorganized, frantic, one-on-one basketball for much of the night and defenses that were, quite frankly, non-existent. I saw an Illini team that refused to rebound.

And I saw an Illini team that looked anything but resilient, a chilling call-back to last year’s squad that wilted in the face of any substantial heat or pressure — say, that of a warm light bulb, for instance.

Then the Illini, just 16 hours later, took the court and dominated Maryland. Sure, they repeatedly let the Terrapins back into the game, but an Illini team that had to be gassed physically and emotionally always built the lead back up. It was, in all honesty, a pretty impressive performance.

So which is real? [Read more…]

Illinois Hunt Down Salukis in Spirited Rivalry Game

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After a football game that nearly defied all description, Illinois head coach Bruce Weber knew it was important for the Illini basketball team to get out fast.

“I did bring up the football game in the shootaround — you just never know and you gotta be ready to play,” Weber said.

“When you are winning you’ve got to keep pouring it on. One of the things we weren’t that good at last year was building and extending leads and putting teams away.  We had a saying this summer that you don’t ever take any prisoners, you don’t let up. And the way we’re playing right now we are doing just that.”

It was that relentless style that led the Illini to build a 31 point lead on the way to their 85-63 win over Southern Illinois Saturday night.

By Paul Schmidt

[Read more…]