Iowa thoughts, standings, & Wisconsin predictions

Well, they gave it the ol’ college try…

Blog PhotoIndeed, after the words “public execution” were swirling around in my head during the first half, the Illini showed some fight, erasing a 21 point deficit.  Minus a 12 board difference in the rebounding column, the box score looks pretty much identical on both sides of the ledger.  So that leads me to believe that it was simply a matter of the more talented team winning tonight.  I hate to make the same point again and again, but I didn’t see any regression tonight…just another loss.  The problem is…you can only tread water for so long if you want a shot at making the big dance.  And the Illini’s life vest is on the verge of popping.

Coach Groce stood up for his guys after this one...

Taking a look at our friendly competition…

Blog PhotoSixteen of 22 pickers correctly chose the victor today, with another solid round of RSDTs.  I’ve only been doing this blog for a couple years, but this year’s crop of pickers has by far been the most accurate.  My colleague Marcus Jackson takes top honors this game by nailing the margin of victory.  Overall, walker remains the lead dog, and Green Shirt has pulled passed yours truly to claim second place outright.

On the side, four pickers (including myself) ventured a Superbowl pick for fun, with three picking Denver.  I’ll chart those predictions next blog.

And now, the cheese comes here…

Blog PhotoAs I was reading up on Wisconsin over the past few days, I chuckled a bit at the “the sky is falling” mentality surrounding the program, given the team’s overall outlook (16-0 start, top 15 ranking, still hanging around in the B1G race…all while playing the nation’s third toughest schedule).  But after today’s so called “B1G race play out game” loss to Ohio State (making it five losses in the last six games and the first three game losing streak at Kohl under Bo Ryan), the nail biting might have some justification.  Media reports leading up to today’s game pointed to a lack of aggression from the Badgers, and that showed today as the game was up for grabs in the final seconds.

After today’s game, Bo was asked about the team’s current funk…

But Tim…the Illini are struggling too!  I know, I know.  This is another one where I might pick the good guys if they won today.  But of two teams trending down, Illinois is trending down just a little more right now.  So than means…

My prediction:  Wisconsin 74, Illinois 67

A couple things to look for on Tuesday from the Badgers are the play of Traevon Jackson, who’s 4 of 21 from the field in the past two games, and how much bench production the Badgers get, something Bo has been harping on lately.  If the road team struggles in those two areas, this one could be close.

-Tim

Coming up Tuesday:  Wisky thoughts, standings, & Penn State predictions

[game audio via BTN, good job kid audio via ESPN, Bo gif via SB Nation, Bo audio via uwbadgers.com]

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

Mike Goebel wrote on February 01, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Streak hits 8

Wisky 74, Illini 64

illiniearl wrote on February 01, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Wisconsin 80

Illini 68

touchdown_illinois wrote on February 02, 2014 at 7:02 am

Wisky 72

Illini 63

 

illinibadger wrote on February 02, 2014 at 8:02 am

UW-Madison 73, UIUC 64

Green Shirt wrote on February 03, 2014 at 7:02 am

Wisconsin           70

Illinois                  65

As for the comment, "I’ve only been doing this blog for a couple years, but this year’s crop of pickers has by far been the most accurate", it is far less challenging to make predictions when the team one is tracking is at/near the top/bottom of the conference.   

mvillini wrote on February 03, 2014 at 10:02 am

   Badgers 74, Hapless Illini 64. 'Nuff said.

BleedOandB wrote on February 03, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Dont call it a come back! 5 game win streak starts against Wisconsin


Ill 67


Wisc 62


 

Bwp 5P wrote on February 03, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Badgers 64

Illini 60

 

friendofUofI wrote on February 03, 2014 at 8:02 pm

As an Illini fan for more than 50 years beginning when they played their games at Huff Gym and were coached by Harry Combes I am sad to see them at the bottom of the Big Ten. It is not the fault of the coaches or the players.  They shouldn't be playing in the Big Ten.  They can't compete in football or basketball.  It would be better for fans if the Illini left the Big Ten and joined a league in which they could be more competitive.  I am aware of the financial windfalls they receive from being in the Big Ten but is it worth the shame of losing so many games.

As regards AD Thomas.  He should be fired.  He wasted big money when he fired Zook and Weber and paid big bucks to buy out their contracts. Did he improve the Illini teams? I don't think so.

John Groce is a very intense coach and he comes across as a decent man. However, teams with good coaches usually get better as the season progesses.  Perhaps Groce should let the players play the game. As a former high school basketball player who went to college on a football scholarship I know that it is the players who decide which team wins or losses.  Let Groce watch the shot clock and let the players enjoy the game.

In terms of recruiting. Very few Chicago Basketball players are shooters. They are "run and jump" players.  The Illini rank 311th in the nation in field goal percentage Recruit some short kids who can shoot.

walker wrote on February 04, 2014 at 7:02 am

WISC  67   ILL  62

buckhunter2 wrote on February 04, 2014 at 9:02 am

illini   73

wisc  69

Bob Patterson wrote on February 04, 2014 at 12:02 pm
Profile Picture

Wisconsin 70

Illinois 62

jruss62 wrote on February 04, 2014 at 12:02 pm

ILLINI..........64


Wisconsin..69

stumblefoot wrote on February 04, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Illini - 71

Buggers - 69

Railsplitter wrote on February 04, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Wisconsuc 71....... Illinois 68

conner34 wrote on February 04, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Illini 64

Wisky 73

teachdacc wrote on February 04, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Wisconsin 74 Illinois 65

IndianaBill wrote on February 04, 2014 at 6:02 pm

IllIni 79

 

Wis 72