MSU thoughts, standings, & OSU predictions
I know we’re out of college football season, but I can't resist a football movie reference: an Illini win right now is tougher to find than Ray Finkle…
I thought the Illini played decent tonight, and the game was within reach til the final couple minutes. But it was clear midway through the second half that this was MSU’s game. Their studs shot, rebounded, and distributed well, and the Sparty defense caused the O & B to settle for low-caliber shots. I'm sure the “bench Egwu” train will pick up a few more passengers after this one, and to be honest I’m torn on the matter. A part of me thinks Morgan needs a bit more development, and a part of me wonders how long a leash Nnanna has. Coach Groce in recent days has implied that he’s going to stick with his starter. If you’ve got an opinion on the matter, leave it in a comment.
Speaking of the jacket-launcher, he recapped the good and bad afterwards…
To the standings…
Lots of good picks this game, highlighted by ehsfan who hit the margin of victory on the nose. And all but three of you correctly picked the victor. Overall, walker remains in first place, and Green Shirt has pulled into a tie for second. Plenty of others are within striking distance as well. Our one new picker this week was a familiar face – Bwp 5P – with a nice gimmick pick that yielded a triple digit RSDT.
And the gauntlet continues…
If there was a good time to catch the Buckeyes, it’s now, with the squad having lost three straight (with Nebraska next) and going through an offensive identity crisis. Turnovers have been an issue lately, as well. So I’d expect a lot of pressure defense from the Illini next week. Despite the offensive woes, you do have to keep an eye on Aaron Craft at all times (he’s one of those squirrelly guys you just love to hate, right?), and Sam Thompson is always good for a highlight reel dunk or two. I’m sure Coach Groce would want nothing more than to beat his old boss and shake off some of the recent critics. But I don’t think that’s in the cards.
My prediction: Ohio State 79, Illinois 68
Reminder: if you’re having trouble leaving a comment, you can always e-mail me your pick – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also…semi-big update: Jim Rossow and Mike Goebel of the News-Gazette have gone into the vault and have pulled out two tickets to an Illini football game next year as the prize for the top picker at the end of the hoops regular season. You pick the game to go to, but once you commit there’s no changing games, and when football season rolls around you must be able to pick up your prize at the News-Gazette during normal business hours. If you can’t meet these requirements, find someone to use the tickets for you.
Coming up Thursday: OSU thoughts, standings, & Indiana predictions
[Finkle photo & audio via Warner Bros.]