Minnesota thoughts, standings, & Nebraska predictions

And on this soggy hump day, the basketball gods smiled upon the blue jerseys and said, “Let’s let Illinois pull the upset this time.”  And so it was…

Blog PhotoYou hear coaches and the media alike talking about needing to have everyone “step up” to come out with a win.  As much as I hate the phrase, pretty much everyone did that for the visiting team tonight.  Nunn and Hill are proving they belong in marquee roles (doing a lot of it from long range), and Egwu is continuing to hustle to silence critics from earlier in the year.  Big credit as well goes to the Illini defense, which seemed to have an answer for most of what the home team threw out offensively.  Props on that one in particular go to Coach Parham, who according to my colleague Marcus Jackson, had the scout tonight.  The perfect storm of circumstances came together on the Minnesota side as well, as the Gophers were not able to hang on to the ball and suffered from cold shooting spurts (the two keys, I might add, that I highlighted last blog).

Once again, in the interest of time, I'm giving you all of the postgame Groce interview...

And down the stretch them come in the pick ‘em competition…

Blog PhotoNot sure if buckhunter2’s pick today was legit or gimmicky, but it paid off as he/she was one of two to correctly pick the victor among our 17 pickers.  The rest of us didn’t fare too well.  Interesting to note that my colleague Mike Goebel was one point away from picking both point totals correct.  Overall, illinibadger dodged a bullet and remains in the lead.  That’s because buckhunter2 was more than one game out of first, so he/she being the only one to pick up a win today doesn’t change much.

(BTW…I apologize for the constant errors in updating the numbers.  Please continue to correct me.)

Blog PhotoNext up, Nebraska.  Hey wait, didn’t we just play these guys?  Is this a glitch in the Matrix?

I really shouldn’t be joking…because Tim Miles has his guys playing their best basketball at the right time.  The team (Benny Parker and the recently-promoted-to-starter David Rivers in particular) has cut down on defensive mistakes in its current winning streak, holding teams to around 53 points on 36% shooting on average.  Stats like that have Husker fans dreaming of March.  Coach Miles isn’t having it, though.

And with the “Us always” slogan on the warm up shirts, this season it’s paying to be selfish in Lincoln.  But wait…here comes the swerve.

My prediction:  Illinois 62, Nebraska 60

Other musings…

  • Put tonight’s Ohio State-Northwestern game (see below) in the box score hall of fame.
  • A programming plug:  A really good high school basketball matchup comes your way Friday night on WDWS as St. Joseph-Ogden takes on St. Thomas More.  STM is having a great year in its own right, and according to News-Gazette prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner, the SJO junior varsity team could hang with some varsity squads.  And speaking of STM, its girls squad appear to be an unstoppable force once again.  If it advances to the state finals next weekend, DWS will carry those games.

Blog Photo-Tim

Coming up Wednesday:  Nebraska thoughts, standings, & Michigan State predictions

[Nunn audio via BTN, Bruce audio via Universal Pictures, Husker fan photo via KZOZ, Miles audio via huskers.com, box score via ESPN]

Comments

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Mike Goebel wrote on February 19, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Wrong on that one. Won't be wrong this time.

Nebraska 64, Illinois 61

illiniearl wrote on February 20, 2014 at 1:02 am

This one is an easy prediction:


Illini: 69


Cornjerks: 57

Tim Ditman wrote on February 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm
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Just updated the standings with a pick I missed.

Railsplitter wrote on February 21, 2014 at 5:02 am

Illini 68   Cornhackers 60.  Tim and Mike thanx for the box score , makes things easier. Whoever suggested that is a scholar and a gentleman , plus handsome ,generous , hard working , well you get it . Thanx again.

ehsfan wrote on February 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

Nebraska 56 Illini 52

Green Shirt wrote on February 25, 2014 at 6:02 am

Nebraska   63

Illinois         60

Bwp 5P wrote on February 25, 2014 at 9:02 am

Illini : 66

Nebraska: 60

 

jruss62 wrote on February 25, 2014 at 11:02 am

ILLINI................66


Corn People....62

walker wrote on February 25, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Nebraska  64  Illinois  60

teachdacc wrote on February 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Illini 65  Huskers 59

touchdown_illinois wrote on February 26, 2014 at 7:02 am

Nebraska 60

Illini 56

Bob Patterson wrote on February 26, 2014 at 8:02 am
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Nebraska 72

Illinois 64

buckhunter2 wrote on February 26, 2014 at 8:02 am

illini   65

neb    60

 

and im a he tim  thanks

Tim Ditman wrote on February 26, 2014 at 6:02 pm
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If it's not clear I use he/she to avoid offending anyone.  But your clarification is duly noted.

conner34 wrote on February 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Illini 71

Huskers  66