MSU thoughts, standings, & Michigan predictions

MSU thoughts, standings, & Michigan predictions

So, about that “see their team is weak” stuff...

Blog PhotoMan, this one had everything:  lots of points off turnovers early, decent shooting after that, more freshmen contributions, angry Groce, angry Izzo, Dakich in his prime.  Heck, even TV Teddy managed to sneak in to the telecast…and he wasn’t even reffing!  In all seriousness, though, today we saw a no fear, nothing to lose Illini team who stayed true to my key leading into this one of putting the foot down on the gas pedal and not letting up.  Easily the best win of the year when it comes to the caliber of the opponent.  I’m still sticking by my viewpoint that since the big dance is out of the question, the Illini are playing for next year.  But I won’t deny that late season upsets will do wonders for confidence.

Not going to have access to postgame Groce til Monday, so you’ll have to wait for that.  In the meantime, down the stretch the pickers come!

Blog PhotoOf our 17 players, Rod Burton and walker went out on a limb, and it paid off.  Overall, though, illinibadger dodges another bullet and remains our leader.

Now, the hand-staters come here.

Michigan is having one of those seasons where most things are going right, but they’re not bragging about it.  And when things go wrong, they don’t use the McGary injury as an excuse.  Quite simply, they’re playing disciplined basketball, not fouling a lot, are capable of playing from behind, and have two reliable point guards in Walton and Albrecht that can handle the rock (Spike is also quite the ladies’ man as evidenced by the photo below.).  The squad’s worst Big Ten loss is Indiana, and that came at a time where the Hoosiers were actually playing well.  Sum it all up, and it means an outright Big Ten title for John Beilein if his guys can take care of business the rest of the way.

Blog PhotoSo what can the Illini try to exploit on Tuesday?  Well, the Wolverines average around 33 boards per game, but I think that number is a bit deceiving, as no one player is averaging more than 4.5 rebounds per game.  And of course, we’re all aware of the play of B1G Player of the Year candidate Nik Stauskas.  But what some media reports out Ann Arbor have indicated is that when his team as a whole is struggling in a game, Nik tries to take matters into his own hands.  And sometimes he crashes and burns (figuratevly of course).

My prediction:  Illinois 65, Michigan 64

Don’t forget – our competition ends at the end of the regular season.  So if your name is in red on the above chart, you really don’t want to miss these two final picks.

Other items from the notebook…

  • We start by going back to UM for a second.  Their game notes contain something I’ve never seen before:  notes on each player designed specifically for broadcasters.  Among the fun facts:  Nik Stauskas’ nickname is “Tube” for all the YouTube videos he posts.  Jon Horford loves to play hacky sack.  And Andrew Dakich loves to spend time on the links as much as he loves to spend time on the court.  Neat, right?
  • And we end with (sorry) some more WDWS programming plugs.  If you happen to be reading this on Saturday evening, tune in as the St. Thomas More girls squad plays for a state title.  And have your radio handy Friday night for the Champaign Central regional final in boys basketball action.  That one could be a Central-Centennial matchup, and if so, it’s a must-listen.  DWS is also following the St. Joseph-Ogden boys basketball squad and will feature them if they advance to the supersectional game. 

Blog Photo-Tim

Coming up Tuesday:  Michigan thoughts, standings, & Iowa predictions

[Abrams audio via ESPN, Beilein audio via mgobluecom, Spike tweet via @SpikeAlbrecht on Twitter]

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touchdown_illinois wrote on March 01, 2014 at 6:03 pm

OK, OK, I've seen the light. JG has this team playing incredible defense and the shots are finally falling. And scUM didn't really impress me against Minny tonight.

Illini 56
scUM 489

Hopefully it'll be 4 straight held under 50!!

Thanks again, Tim for running this!

Tim Ditman wrote on March 01, 2014 at 7:03 pm
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Did you mean 48 or 49?

touchdown_illinois wrote on March 01, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Sorry, I meant 49, thanks for pointing that out!!

Tim Ditman wrote on March 01, 2014 at 7:03 pm
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No worries.  Thanks for picking and for the kind words on the blog.

illiniearl wrote on March 01, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Michigan 67

Illini  64

In OT

teachdacc wrote on March 01, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Tim, a very interesting season. Thanks for the blog.   Illini 63 Mich. 58

 

Mike Goebel wrote on March 01, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Impressive again. But don't see them beating Michigan. Hopefully I'll be wrong.

Michigan 51, Illinois 47

conner34 wrote on March 01, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Illini  62

Michy  59

Defense has been awesome the last 4 games.  Go Illini.

ehsfan wrote on March 02, 2014 at 10:03 am

ScUM 59 Illini 51

Green Shirt wrote on March 04, 2014 at 6:03 am

Michigan        63

Illinois            55

Bob Patterson wrote on March 04, 2014 at 9:03 am
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Michigan 70

Illinois 61

buckhunter2 wrote on March 04, 2014 at 11:03 am

illini   66

mich  63

jruss62 wrote on March 04, 2014 at 4:03 pm

ILLINI......63

Michigan.61

have to try and make a move in the stands

walker wrote on March 04, 2014 at 5:03 pm

ILL  64  MICH  59

Railsplitter wrote on March 04, 2014 at 5:03 pm

I'll Let the leader think he waited me out , because I'm not afraid to lose  So , I;ll say Illini 63 ...... Michigag 61 . You can pick now.

blue fan wrote on March 05, 2014 at 7:03 am

Did all you U of I fans mean to hold them under 50 in the first half?  Worst defeat at home.