Can the Illini take down the Badgers? Weigh in here.
Given how ugly of a game this was until the final eight minutes or so, I debated whether it was worthy of a highlight. But, hey, it’s the weekend…
I guess I should be thankful that this one  wasn’t a nailbiter at the end like many have been recently in the Illinois-Penn State series. Regardless, an off shooting day and a Penn State defense that stymied the O & B’s offensive rhythm gave me a better picture of how this team will compete in the Big Ten. I’m not saying it will be subpar…just don’t expect and Indiana game -esque performance every time.
On the radio postgame show, Brian and Jerry highlighted Tracy Abrams’ stellar second half play, and I agreed. So he gets the nod for this blog’s soundbite. Roll it…
Taking a look at the leaderboard…
All 26 of you picked up a win this go around, but not many picked a big Illini win, so the RSDTs were mostly in the double digits. Overall, IndianaBill and smccaw_11748 have pulled into a tie for first. We had three new pickers this week and are at 32 pickers overall.
On to cheeseland…
As I mentioned in a previous blog , I’ve been high on the Badgers this season. They show a lot of unity (in fact, per ESPN, they all live together) and take care of the ball very well. Bo Ryan’s streak of talented big men continues with Frank Kaminsky, who is finally clicking in Bo’s system and can shoot well from anywhere on the court. Add in the fact that it’s tough to win in Madison (only one win in the last seven trips for the good guys), and it’s clear that it will take a near perfect game for the Illini to be in this one to the end.
My prediction: Wisconsin 75, Illinois 64
Looking at the big picture for the Badgers, I think this is the year that they take the league crown after a hard-to-believe five year drought. Their talent and schedule (only playing OSU and MSU once) line up in a perfect storm. What say you, blog readers?
One quick programming plug: It’s going to be colder than a witch’s you-know-what this week, so why not spend some quality time by your radio with my employer WDWS on the dial? We’ve got sports programming almost every day this week: two Big Ten basketball games tomorrow; a top 10 college hoops game Tuesday; Illini women’s basketball Thursday; Illini men’s basketball Wednesday; and high school hoops Friday and Saturday. In fact, we have sports programming on the schedule  almost every day this month. Credit goes to Brian Moline  for putting the schedule together.
Coming up Wednesday: Wisky thoughts, standings, & Northwestern predictions
[badger gif via Jonti Picking]