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For Illinois athletics director Mike Thomas, it appears to be on to the next one.
Sought-after coach Shaka Smart informed Illinois he will stay at VCU, a source confirmed today. The fansite Peegs.com reported on its Twitter account that Smart turned down an offer from Illinois.
Bruce Weber might make the jump back to SIU. In 2003, Illinois was looking to replace Bill Self after he bolted to Kansas ... and eventually turned to the SIU coach at the time: Weber. Here were our odds in the days leading up to the hire — compare them to today's odds here:
Just once, before this nation collapses into a swirling sea of unpaid entitlements, I'd like to see a basketball coach stand up on Oct. 1 and state:
"This season, regardless of the situation, our team will attempt to score at the first, best opportunity on every possession."
On Feb. 3, 1995, Eric Blackiston beat Princeton at the Pizzitola Sports Center, going the length of the court for an overtime trey at the buzzer to beat the Tigers 67-65, sending Princeton coach Pete Carril off the court with his head bowed.
Earlier this season the Hoosiers, who had led No. 1 Kentucky for most of the contest but trailed by two, ran a length-of-the-court play, set up by a pick from Cody Zeller and a feed from Verdell Jones III, that saw Christian Watford hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded, setting off a wild celebration in a 73-72 Hoosiers win.
On March 11, 2006, Lucious Jordan made a three-pointer from the top of the arc at the south end on the game's first possession — and the place absolutely exploded to set the tone in an 80-67 win against Vermont. Albany never trailed en route to its first NCAA appearance.
On Jan. 11, 2011, Jimmer Fredette buried a 40-footer at the halftime buzzer against Utah, launching Jimmermania. It capped a 32-point first half on his way to a season-high 47 points.
On March 8, 2009, Brian Gilmore hit a game-tying three with 43 seconds left in the 2009 Patriot League semifinals. American beat Army 61-60, overcoming a five-point deficit with three minutes to play.