Sunday, March 14, 2010

Who's in? Minnesota vs. Illinois

I don't know if it really is a case of one open spot for two Big Ten teams, but if it is, I have a hard time accepting the idea that the Gophers are not in. 

Bruce Weber, coach of Illinois, made the case himself when he started listing signature wins for the Illini.  He mentioned Clemson.  Look, Bruce Weber, don't mention Clemson as a signature win if you want to be taken seriously.

Yeah, you beat Clemson.  So did Boston College.  So did Virginia Tech.  So did NC State.  You beat a team that isn't going to the Dance, that three other teams that aren't going to the Dance also beat.  Congratulations!

Speaking of teams not going to the Dance--Utah.  Bradley.  Georgia. Northwestern. You lost to all those teams, Illinois.  Meanwhile, I guess we should talk about those other out of conference wins--there was SIU Edwardsville, Northern Illinois, Presbyterian, and Wofford, and Western Michigan.  To be fair, there was also Vanderbilt, which is almost a signature win. Perhaps most importantly, you lost to Minnesota, in late February.

How Illinois goes in before Minnesota, given that they lost to the Gophers, that they didn't make the semi-finals of the Big 10 Tournament, and the Gophers did; that they played a ridiculously crappy non-conference schedule, I don't know.

To be clear and fair--neither Minnesota or Illinois has much of a chance of playing beyond the first four days of the tournament.  If  either one makes it into the Sweet Sixteen, I'll be absolutely gobsmacked.  But regardless of that, Minnesota deserves the chance to lose in the first round more than Illinois does.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Illinois actually was in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. That was the loss to Ohio State yesterday.