OSU thoughts, standings, & Minnesota predictions

OSU thoughts, standings, & Minnesota predictions

So much for a late Valentine’s Day present, eh Congressman?

Blog PhotoTonight was one of those games where the Illini were playing just well enough early to maintain a slim lead, and you were subtly crossing your fingers under your lap that the bounces and calls kept going the way they were going.  And that did happen…until about four minutes into the second half when momentum shifted completely the other way.  Aaron Craft was his usual make-you-pull-your-hair-out self, registering a game high 14 points while in foul trouble for a good chunk of the game.  In hindsight, I feel foolish tabbing this one as a high scoring affair.

Of the few bright spots, Coach Groce highlighted one with Brian and Jerry afterward...

To my favorite part…the numbers!

Blog PhotoAll but four of you correctly picked this one, with illiniearl taking top honors for the second game in a row…this time with Railsplitter alongside.  Alongside his/her pick, Bwp 5P brought up a point that’s been in the back of my mind this season – the low assists totals for the Illini.  ESPN has us at 10 per game, which is good for 338th in the country.  Yikes.  Looking at the overall standings, two of our three lead dogs from last game picked Illinois this go around, so they drop out of first place…leaving illinibadger all alone at the top.  Looks like the picks are going to come down to the wire…hope you all are having fun with it!

Now, time to drink some minnie soda…

Blog PhotoThis one shakes out similar to Ohio State.  The Gophers have had an up and down Big Ten season and are fighting for an NCAA Tournament berth.  The offense stops and starts with Andre Hollins, who was limited with an ankle injury recently but played well in the Gophers’ most recent contest.  In that game, the Gophers were done in by long shooting droughts and untimely turnovers.  And media reports out of Minneapolis also indicate that defensive rebounds may be there for the taking on Wednesday, as Minny tends to be scared to get beat on defense, so they rush back down the court after a shot.

My prediction:  Minnesota 60, Illinois 50

Also want to make note on something related to Minnesota basketball that I denied for a long time.  That is, The Barn is a really underrated atmosphere.  Like State Farm Center, the building has a unique layout (raised floor, arched ceiling, winding stairways, etc.), and The Barnyard student section is loud and creative.  And the Gophers have a 13-2 home record this year to show for all that.  Now…if it just weren’t so dang cold up there.

Other notes (well, just one actually)…

  • Naming rights announcements for the State Farm Center continue to come left and right, but one big one remains:  the floor.  It appears at this point that the athletic department isn’t going to pass up the opportunity to get some money out of it, but small part of me is still holding out hope that Lou Henson will get his name on the hardwood.  Maybe it could be a combo name…the Jimmy Johns Lou Henson Court.  Think about it, rich people.


Coming up Wednesday:  Minny thoughts, standings, & Nebraska predictions

[Underwood audio via Netflix, Underwood photo via Netflix & ohiostatebuckeyes.com, selfie gif via BTN]


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Mike Goebel wrote on February 15, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Alright, I'll get this party started.

Minny 61, UI 49

Bob Patterson wrote on February 15, 2014 at 11:02 pm
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Tim, please check my prediction for the Ohio State game, I believe I picked Ohio State 72 Illinois 62.  The new standing shows I picked 72-67!

Tim Ditman wrote on February 16, 2014 at 12:02 am
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illiniearl wrote on February 15, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Moi?  2 in a row?  YYYYYEEEEESSSSSS!!!

teachdacc wrote on February 16, 2014 at 9:02 am

Well, my prediction on OHIO State vs Illinois didn't get accepted 75-62!  So onto the Minnesota game; we suffer again 65-53!  

Has anyone else wondered if the baskets might be out of alignment?

mvillini wrote on February 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm

This week was the second time my prediction was not accepted. I assume you are not interesred in my contributions . For the record, I had Purdue by three, and THE OSU by twelve (70-58). I'm done. Sayonara !

Tim Ditman wrote on February 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm
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To those whose picks aren't getting processed:  the issue is the News-Gazette comment system, not bias on my part.  You can always e-mail your pick to tditman@wdws.com.  I've made that clear from the beginning.

conner34 wrote on February 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Illini 51

Minni 64

Not going to beat anybody if the don't start making some shots.  Defense seems fairly sound, just can't put it in the hole.  I hope i'm wrong but Nebraska at home may be our only hope for a win, for the rest of the season. . . Ugh

illiniearl wrote on February 17, 2014 at 3:02 am

Gopher gals sure are hot! 

Mighty Minny:  64

Illini:  61

Railsplitter wrote on February 17, 2014 at 8:02 am

This one could get ugly. ILLINI 62  Golden Gomers 72

walker wrote on February 17, 2014 at 8:02 am

MINN  71  ILL  60

Bwp 5P wrote on February 17, 2014 at 8:02 am

Well.......at least I don't get real excited watching. I've come to accept who they are and what they are capable of. Tim, I can't believe we even average 10 assists/game! It sure doesn't seem like it!


Gophers = 77

Illini = 62 (after making a late run to get that close against their intramural walk-ons)


Sorry for saying that Illini, but until you remember how to DUNK, make layups, 8" finger rolls, AND an occassional Jump Shot.................

illinibadger wrote on February 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

Hats off to Minnesota

UM 70, UIUC 62

Green Shirt wrote on February 18, 2014 at 8:02 am

Minn            60

Illinois          55

jruss62 wrote on February 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm



touchdown_illinois wrote on February 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Illini 52

Goophers 64

Bob Patterson wrote on February 18, 2014 at 11:02 pm
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Minnesota 71 Illinois 60

Illini '73 wrote on February 19, 2014 at 11:02 am

It's hard to have many assists when you only score 39 points.

Can't we just name the court without putting a corporate sponsor's name with it?  How about just putting someone's corporate logo on the floor in a different spot than the coach's name?  We're starting to look like a NASCAR team.


buckhunter2 wrote on February 19, 2014 at 11:02 am

MINNY    62

ILLINI      63


Illini '73 wrote on February 19, 2014 at 11:02 am

It's a good thing Bob Knight is retired.  I don't think he could have made himself walk out onto "Lou Henson Court".

arch73 wrote on February 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Tim--Re. your comments on the Comment section.  This is the absolute worst website i have encountered for leaving comments.  It truly is a chore esp. for we oldies trying to parse the required puzzles.  Do something about this abomination!!

Tim Ditman wrote on February 19, 2014 at 9:02 pm
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I wish I could tinker with the technology to make it better, but unfortunately I don't have the tools to do that.  You can shoot our online editor Mike Howie a note if you're having major problems.  Thanks for bearing with us.