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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here come the Illini


Illini 54- Gophers 50

Here is a shot of Sergio McClain, who led the Illini a few years back when the Illini nearly won the Big 10 tourney, despite being a low seed.

Big Ten Champs this time anyone?

Update: Drats, Illini snuffed out. Go Badgers? Redbirds? Bulldogs?

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sergio isn't nearly as dapper as his father. Maybe some hand-me-downs are in order.

Illini beat Wisconsin tomorrow and I'll buy rounds at the Circle.

BEP

Anonymous said...

There's only one thing Wapella natives love more than Illini basketball: donkey basketball.

Late sleepers who missed this morning's tribute to DB on NPR may want to visit the web site

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88324598

All of this has got me thinking, would this year's Illini have had more regular season success if they had been riding donkeys on the hardwood?

HG

Anonymous said...

HG, the donkeys could have helped at the foul line. I would think the free throw % would not be much different on the back of a donkey. Tough task to win 4 games in 4 days and a monumental one at that, with this year's Illini. Ran into Mr. Toohill Beef & Tim Carrol last night at the green ring. Carrol and Jerry Toohill attended the Ill-Minny game yesterday and our going to the championship game today with their uncle Lips Toohill. Hopefully Lips can give the Illini some Wildcat luck today.

IRBW

Anonymous said...

Let us have a whole string about ISU getting screwed!

Anonymous said...

How did the 'Birds get shafted? Who did they play? WHO DID THEY BEAT?

There are other teams that were not included that got it worse.

BEP

Anonymous said...

Dear Redbird,

Answer the questions.

Play in a real conference and call me.

BEP

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous,

Your harshly delivered words in response to our esteemed colleague BEP's criticism of the Redbird schedule strike me as uncivil and not appropriate for polite company. Your unwillingness to attach any sort of moniker to your comments is unfortunate as well. I know BEP well and believe he would be open to an apology.

HoosierGato

Anonymous said...

Mr. RedBird,

Sorry, I did not notice your name. I just don't recognize it from regularly appearing on this blog. I still think an apology is in order.

HG

EEP said...

I wish the Mod wouldn't delete racy comments so I could follow the storyline more closely...

Suffice to say, anyone who shoots off at the mouth to BEP is NOT invited to the First Annual Shannon Tweed Film Fest/Volleyball Tourney.

Anonymous said...

EEP,

You're right. It does break it up. But all in all, I support the mod's editing.

BEP may be a little down nursing some emotional scars from RedBird's electronic onslaught. Let's all rally and give some support!

BEP, my first grade double deskmate at WGS and station drill partner at WHS, your b-ball instincts are right on! Keep 'em coming!

HG

Anonymous said...

First, many thanks to the honorable gentlemen from South Bend and Wapella's North End. I appreciate your support. Second, I'd rather light a candle than curse Redbird's darkness.

Redbird, I was a supporter of ISU hoops for many years, watching Doug Collins, Bubbles Hawkins, Roger Powell and the irrepresible Joe Galvin, possibly before you were born. I witnessed ISU's greatest win, when the Birds beat UNLV in 1977.

However, the 64 should be the best teams in the nation. Tell me how VA TECH gets snubbed and how my beloved Diablos del Sol of Arizona State, who thrashed Xavier, beat Arizona twice and prevailed over USC and Stanford, don't get in?

What's done is done. By the way, I would like to see Drake, who last made the final four in 1969 go a long way. Point is, you HAVE to play someone. Ask Herb Sendek.

Again, my heart is warmed by the support from my close friends.

BEP

RedBird said...

BEP,

They played in The Valley!

Do you know anything about the MVC?

50% of their teams have made the sweet 16 or better over the last few years.

That is better than the ACC, Big 10Cowards, Big East...Wait, that is better than Any other conference in the Country. The next best is like 33% for the ACC.

If ISU had SIU or Creighton on their jersey they would have been a 7 seed or better.
But ISU was not on the ESPN family of networks every week like SIU and CU. SIU alone was on at least 11 times.
For God's Sake they did College Gameday from Carbondale. (First time at a non BCS School)

If the Valley doesn't have the teams that ESPN has a financial interest in at the top of their league what the other teams do doesn't even count.

The MVC Tournament had the best attendance in the country last year, over 80,000 and over 60,000 this year.

Look up what the MVC vs. Big TenCowards results are.
MVC Kicked their ass last year.

The Big TenCowards and the other BCS Schools bought out the contracts for future games because they got tired of getting their asses kicked by the MVC Schools. They broke the contracts. They paid them not to play.
Cowardice should not be rewarded. You are not the best just because you say you are. Or the talking heads on T.V. say you are.
YOU PROVE IT ON THE COURT!!!

If the Valley has proved anything over the last ten years it is that they are not a One Bid League!

RB

P.S.

It's 10 cowards and not 11 because Indiana still plays anybody and honors their contracts.

P.P.S.

BEP do you root for Goliath when you read the Bible?

REdBird said...

Thanks HG.

I think I deserve an apology too.

I didn't Catch yours or anybody else's names either.

RB

P.S.

I was not part of any "electronic onslaught". So I'm not sure what you guys are talking about.

Saluki said...

Hard to argue with redbirds facts.

They are facts.

BEP is just ignorant
about the valley.

Anonymous said...

Last year when there were two valley teams in the sweet 16 how many big ten teams were left?

saluki said...

Last year the MVC had one team in the SWEET 16 and the big ten had one team.

Two years ago the MVC had TWO teams in the SWEET 16 and the big ten had NONE.
That's NADA ZIP ZERO

The ACC had two also, if BC is in the ACC which I think it is.

The big ten has had a lot of teams in the final 4 over the last few years though.
Give credit where credit is due.

I was disappointed the ILLINI fell short this year.

RedBird said...

Thanks for having my back Salukee.

SIU just proved my point by kicking a BIG 12 teams ass a few minutes ago in the NIT.
They did it without the MVC Defensive player of the year Mullins.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Redbird,

Great numbers. I am not a Wm. Packer fan.

You have a serious conspiracy problem...were there any other shooters in Dallas?

You can blame ESPN and whoever else, but last year WAS last year. Want to go back to the 80s when the Big East had three teams in one year? The big timers make the money. And they play the best hoops. I watched Butler beat Miss. St and Louisville a few years ago here in Bham. It happens. Look at the Final Four.

Suggest you reset your rabbit ears on the TV.

Best,

BEP

Anonymous said...

Saluki,

Play someone.

"The Valley", not be mistaken for the "Big Valley", is a great mid major. It is not the real deal. If you have an issue see a shrink. Tell you what, when the Valley gets two or three National Merit Scholars call me.

BEP

Anonymous said...

Dear Saluki, does your HMO pay for lobotomies? Get one. Better yet, break double figures on the ACT.

BEP

redBird said...

BEP,
Since this tournament has not yet been played, the last two years worth of facts should spell out the truth.

The Valley is not even a Two bid conference, it should be three or four.
It should have been five two years ago.

Don't you agree that it should be proven on the court?

When the Valley gets to play in the big dance they win.

ISU, CU, and SIU had RPI's of 33. 46, and 62.
Is that not in your required top 64?

The RPI is what it is.
It's unbiased. It is fair.

I assume that your "Great Numbers" comment means that you know you are wrong. So just say it.

Your comment, "The big timers make the money. And they play the best hoops." makes no sense. Do you refuse to use facts in your judgement?

MVC 50%

MVC proves it on the court.

RB

EEP said...

Redbird,

It is a solid argument you put up ("50% of the MVC's teams have reached the Sweet Sixteen over 'the last few years'" is a stat I'd like to see verified, but I digress) however, in the end, it *is* about quality wins. I don't have the time or the means to crunch Big Ten vs. MVC quality wins over the last few years, but as far as RPI goes, do you really think, over the last few years, that the MVC has more teams with higher RPI's than the Big Ten?

In 2008 (a down year for the Big Ten) the B10 has 3 in the Top 25 to MVC's 1, though Drake, MVC's sole rep, is ranked 10, higher than any Big Ten team, with Wisconsin coming it at 11.

http://web1.ncaa.org/app_data/weeklyrpi/2008MBBrpi1.html

I'd be curious to see, over the last 10 years, which conference has produced more National Champions? Which conference has produced more teams in the Final Four? Which conference has more wins over the other?

Lest I be misunderstood, I think the more teams in the NCAA tourney from either conference, the better. I was definitely rooting for ISU. And I think a strong argument for NCAA inclusion can definitely be made, but c'mon...if ISU could have put up a better showing than a 30pt loss against Drake (the MVC's top RPI team) on National Television no less, they'd probably be talking tournament, but as you said Redbird, you prove it on the court, and a disaster is what ISU pulled out when all they needed was a decent showing.

As far as attendance goes, here are some 2007 (2008 not out yet, I'm guessing they will be similar) NCAA Attendance stats for review:

http://www.ncaa.org/stats/m_basketball/attendance/2007_basketball_attend.pdf

You'll see the Big Ten resting comfortably at the number one slot for attendance over any conference in the nation. Again, these are official NCAA numbers.

You'll also see OSU, Wisconsin and Illinois in Top Ten for attendance for ALL games (home, road and neutral) and OSU, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan State in the Top Ten.

So the Big Ten don't have anything to be ashamed about attendance-wise.

The MVC has certainly come along over the last few years but when the dust settles, time as well as results dictate the tougher conference is no doubt the Big Ten.

Saluki said...

BEP,

Did you mean to address your last two comments to redbird?

Why the Hate? Are you Drinking?

I got a 27 on the ACT.
I was accepted to the U of I.

SIU is now included in the same academic category as the U of I in the rankings of the best schools in the Midwest.

Saluki

Anonymous said...

Dear RB,

I do not make selections.

College isn't about making the NCAA tournament.

CU is run by the Jesuits and is on a higher plane than the rest of the Valley.

Don't get me wrong, I rooted for Bradley v. Kansas a couple of years ago. Facts are that the big timers win the games. You can grind your teeth on that all night. I pulled for Detroit, when Dick Vitale was coaching back in the 70s v. Michigan.

I don't read the Old Testament.

Anonymous said...

Saluki,

1. No alcohol
2. Great ACT score, I applaud you. Well done.
3. No malice towards SIU. Best wishes to all Salukis.
4. Hope we show up to play in th next NIT game. The Dogs are formidable, as they have been for many years. A SOLID MVC squad.

BEP

redBird said...

EEP,

I was talking about the conference tournaments attendance. Obviously the regular season goes to the Cowards.

It was last year that the Valley won head to head with the Big TenCowards. They had a bunch of games. Last year the Valley had about the same RPI as the Big TenCowards. This year it was hard to keep a high RPI when the BCS schools Chicken out and buy out the contracts.

I'm not going to rehash how they won't play them, so they are cowards etc.

Prove it on the Court!
RB

saluki said...

BEP,

So did you mean to address those two comments to me or not?

I was also accepted at Creighton.

Do you really think that the Valley has no National Merit Scholars?

Are you from Damascus?
Saluki


EEP,

All we've got is the last few years so face the facts and give The Valley its due. Overall it was a better conference last year.

Facts being faced, I'll admit that most Valley fans I know were Big Ten fans first, and still cheer for them when they can.

There is just to much hate involved with being an ILLINI Fan. We have to hate Iowa for Pearl's BS and so we have to hate TENN because of him too, and you have to hate Gordon because of.... etc.
Think about it. Lot of hate there, huh?

McCamey will be better for The U of I than Gordon anyway simply because he will be around for 4 years and gordon will be in the NBA next year, So we got the better end of that deal really.

No-one know better than me that the Salukis Sucked this year. They can't shoot.
Hopefully Drake's style of ball will over take the Midwest and all Basketball fans will be better off.

redBird said...

There was a nice article in Sports Illustrated about the great ILLINI fans a week or two ago.

It proves everything you need to know about ILLINI fans.

RB

Anonymous said...

This thread has jumped the shark into Pantagraph comment page territory. I suggest BEP, EEP, RB, and Saluki take it outside and negotiate some final resolution to the fascinating question of MVC vs. Big10.

I think the '76 Wildcats could have smoked all of them.

HG

JB Powers said...

HG,

That was not a bad series of comments. Occasional facts, very few threats, mild profanity at best.

Keep 'em coming

JBP

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mod,

Personal insults about ACT scores tire me out, as do most usages of !!!!.

I'm ready to convert to 100% donkey basketball.

HG

JB Powers said...

Yeah, but to compare that to the Pantagraph? No way.

This is high level stuff, and generally gentlemanly enough to occupy an afternoon or two on a couple of Irish Circle barstools, without the headache afterwards.

Facts, events, and a parting without even a gentle smack...if only our politicians could reach the rhetoric of our Hog City regulars.

Applause all around.

EEP said...

Agree with the Mod. Very civil so far. All that need be added is a little barroom math/breakdown on a napkin (a favorite of BEP's Father) and you'd have a Hog City classic.

Just curious why no one has yet used the retort "Mickey Mouse!" or even closed their argument with: "Too easy! NEXT!" as those are surefire easy points in a scored debate.

Anonymous said...

This is the most interesting stuff I've read in days. Keep it coming! Thank the Lord for Wapella.com! March Madness is here!

Anonymous said...

Watched the Tennessee-Alabama game from just behind the benches. Bruce can coach. As pointed out, don't like him, but he can coach.

Any comments on Pearl's Tennessee orange sport coat? It isn't the same color as Webber's. Pearl's is more of a hunting vest/convict picking up trash orange.

Is Lou Henson's sport coat on display anywhere?

Live from Damascus,

BEP

Anonymous said...

YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!!!

Anonymous said...

Is the U of I the 3rd or 4th best team in Illinois right now?

Anonymous said...

2nd or third tie with siu

They both suck though.

Anonymous said...

Chicago Marshall is the best team in Illinois.

SIU wasn't the best team in Tempe tonight. Diablos 65 Dogs 51.

BEP

Anonymous said...

But wait, didn't the cowards beat ASU by 20 on a neutral court....does that mean the 10th best coward would have a chance against the 4th best Valley team.

One of the great things about the aging process is you take the injustices of sports a lot less seriously.

I hope ISU wins the NIT, they are my second favorite team. I'm a Bob Donewald camp alum (decorated actually), my kid wears the jersey proudly (even in their off years with Porter Wagner, country western singer/coach) and have an ISU foam #1. Hoping the Birds play better than they did v. USU....bbd

saluki said...

I didn't think the Salukis should have made the NIT this year, but when you are on ESPN 13 times in a year you are going to get the benefit of the doubt.

Remember, if the Salukis had an 8th grade Kurt Olsen to take their wide open shots they would have been a top 10 team. And trust me, the Salukis have been missing wide open shots at an baffling %.

Their offensive philosophy is horrific.
It is the coaches fault. The idea of playing defense on offense is just stupid, and will only work with superstar shooters on a team.

The Valley Tournament % would be even higher if they had better seeds.
Think about what they have done with bad seeds the last few years.
If you want to judge based on empirical data and what if proven on the court, they are best in the land.
Anyone who has played basketball on a high level understands that.

Anonymous said...

Illinois did thrash ASU in Hawaii. Then again, ASU thrashed Xavier a month or so later, so that means that Illinois is better than Xavier? Obviously not. That sounds like the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl alliance.

Does Kurt O. have any eligibility left?

Besides death and taxes, the only thing that is certain is that you want to stay out of the office pool with Rick Neuheisel this time of year.

BEP

Anonymous said...

What is up with all the good Mid Majors having to play each-other in the first round?

Anonymous said...

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