Phil, sum this one up for us…
At least Northwestern is next, right? I said before this one that the Illini would need a near perfect game to stay in the game, and a 20-0 first half run by the opponent coupled with major offensive involvement by just a couple guys (gotta move that rock around!) is not perfect at all. What stood out to me the most, though, is the ease at which the Badgers were making shots. Wisky is quite talented, so I don’t want to call it a major regression for the Illini defense, which had been decently stout up to this point. Still, other B1G coaches won’t want to delete this one off their DVRs when they’re scouting the O & B. At least Stricker wasn’t in all red this time.
Too much good stuff from Coach Groce postgame to cut it down…
This was a bad night for players and pickers alike, as all but one of you – newcomer grapplinfool – lodged a pick where the RSDT was in single digits. Alas, 25 of 30 correctly picked the victor. We had three new pickers this week, which puts us at 34 for the year. Overall, I swear this isn’t rigged…but I’m currently leading the pack. Don’t worry…it will surely be short-lived, and I’m not eligible for the prize anyway.
Time to get purple…
Well, it’s a new era up in Evanston, but the results so far are the same. The Cats are not shooting the ball well and are depending too much on Drew Crawford for offense. Coach Chris Collins touched on that bugaboo after the squad’s loss at Michigan this past weekend.
I can’t lay it on Collins too thick though. He’s falling into the tough situation that many first year coaches find themselves in. That is, having guys that don’t quite fit his system. Add on to that that you’re doing it all at Northwestern, and you’re behind the eight ball to start. I’ll give it a few years before I evaluate the hire.
My prediction: Illinois 70, Northwestern 59
So you know the drill. Get me your pick, either by comment or e-mail, by tipoff Sunday. We’re still working on a prize, but either way, you’ll likely need to pick every game just to be in the running.
Coming up Sunday: NU thoughts, standings, & Purdue predictions
[Punk audio via WWE, Stricker photo via BTN, Collins audio via nusports.com, DJ photo via @IlliniHoops]