Tag Archives: Illinois Fighting Illini
Posted on 20. Feb, 2014 by zipsofakron.
Yes, abysmal. That’s just about the only way you can describe last night’s game. The one where the Gophers managed 49 points against bottom-dwelling Illinois. At home. In a game that would have put them one win away from an NCAA Tournament bid. But, hey, that’s Gopher basketball. If you’re not used to it by […]
Posted on 18. Feb, 2014 by JF.
It wouldn’t be February without a bit of drama surrounding the Golden Gophers basketball program, both on and off the court. In a complete unexpected turn of events, the drama might not be unwelcome. On the court, Minnesota’s win over Northwestern means the Illinois game on Wednesday has big NCAA tournament implications. Off the court, Wally Ellenson has chosen the sport at which he is most likely to succeed.
Posted on 30. Dec, 2013 by JF.
At about this time last year, the Big Ten was widely considered to be the best conference in America. The Gophers were on the verge of being a top ten team, and Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State all looked like national title contenders. The big questions entering the conference season involved how many Big Ten teams would make the final four. After a good but not great non-conference season, college basketball pundits are left with the much more pedestrian question of what various teams need to do just to make the NCAA tournament.
Instead of throwing out conference record predictions, or NCAA tournament seed projection, we’ll look at the non-conference performance of each Big Ten team, and the worst possible Big Ten record that could get each team in the tournament. That way, when your team starts struggling, you’ll know when to get nervous, and ultimately when to stop caring. In Minnesota, we have a word for this: February.
Posted on 14. May, 2013 by JF.
The Big Ten’s single-play match-ups for the 2013-2o14 season leaked today, and the Golden Gophers should benefit from their schedule. They didn’t quite win the lottery like Wisconsin did (really, playing Michigan State and Ohio State only once, and both games at home). However, they do play some very good teams only once and get […]
Posted on 13. Mar, 2013 by JF.
The best conference tournament of the season, and perhaps the most anticipated Big Ten tournament tips off bright and early on Thursday morning when the Gophers take on Illinois at 11 am. How competitive will the tournament be? Consider that the Gophers and the Illini, the eight and nine seeds respectively, are each playing for a chance to beat number one seed Indiana for the second time. Anything can happen, and probably will. Here is what you need to know.
Posted on 09. Feb, 2013 by JF.
No, nothing makes sense in college basketball this season. After another crazy week in the Big Ten, the Golden Gophers start an important stretch of three potentially winnable games. There is a catch of course, and that is their first two opponents, Illinois and Wisconsin, beat the two best teams in the country this week. The Iowa game is on the road, and the Hawkeyes are more than due to beat a decent team. To keep Selection Sunday boring, the Gophers need to find a way to win two of the next three. Otherwise, we’ll all have to start worrying about bubble again.
Posted on 09. Jan, 2013 by zipsofakron.
So, the Gophers just destroyed the Illinois Fighting Illini. The #12 ranked team in the nation. On the road. By 17 points. Which is on the heels of winning their first two conference games by 13 and then 18 points. Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. I’m numb. This is what winning at […]
Posted on 08. Jan, 2013 by JF.
Conference season is reality in college basketball, and during conference games on the road, things get very, very real. With road trip to the Assembly Halls of Illinois and Indiana, the Golden Gophers face what could be a season defining road trip. If they lose both, those finally suppressed doubts could seep back in. If they split the two games, the Gophers would likely maintain their ranking and have a chance to sneak into the Big Ten title race. If they win both, their ranking would vault as high as #3, with an outside chance of setting up a #1 vs. #2 battle at The Barn next weekend, depending on how Duke handles their first road test at North Carolina State this weekend. But no pressure or anything…
Posted on 29. Jan, 2012 by JF.
Between consoling myself over another hard to believe lose from ahead loss and having flashbacks to Frank Williams knocking in a last second floater to end the Gophers NCAA tournament hopes, a Minnesota team was in a must win situation, and did win, in overtime no less. I can’t begin to explain all the twists […]
Posted on 27. Jan, 2012 by JF.
A big game on a cold January Saturday night. What could be better?
This space is usually reserved for disclaimers that there is no such thing as a must win game in January and platitudes about how a season isn’t over until it’s over because of the automatic NCAA tournament bid awarded at the end of the Big Ten Tournament. Nope, I’m not going to do it this time. This is a must win. There is a road to a 6-5 conference record with what could be an absolutely monstrous match-up with the Badgers at The Barn on February 9th that could transform the rest of the season. Illinois is the entrance ramp, and if they miss it things get complicated.
Posted on 28. Dec, 2011 by zipsofakron.
A roller coaster of emotions for Gopher fans in a back-and-forth B1G conference opener against Illinois ended in an 81-72 double-overtime defeat, sending Minnesota to its first loss since Thanksgiving. Meyers Leonard, the big Illini center, was a monster and Illinois had five players register double figures in scoring. Playing in only their second game […]
Posted on 26. Dec, 2011 by JF.
The first Big Ten road game is usually a rattling at best experience, especially for a young team that hasn’t played a true road game this season. Assembly Hall has been especially cruel to the Gophers who have won once their since 1996, and even in that game, a win that went a long way […]
Posted on 26. Dec, 2011 by zipsofakron.
It’s not that the Fighting Illini have fallen on hard times; quite the contrary. However, after finishing in the top two of the Big Ten in each of Bruce Weber’s first six years as head coach, the relative regression for Illinois has been evident. In fact, the last four seasons for the Illini has brought […]
Posted on 10. Mar, 2011 by JF.
Well, the Gophers sure went out with a whimper. There won’t be any miracle run in the Big Ten Tournament, and there probably won’t be a trip to the NIT either. Post-season basketball is nice and all, but the Gopher season realistically ended when they lost at Indiana, and the team has acted like they were waiting for […]