We asked staff writer Matt Daniels for his take on TNT’s telecast of Friday’s game:
One had to sense the TNT crew of Tim Brando, Mike Gminski and Otis Livingston would bring up the bracelets Illinois has by the same name during Friday’s telecast.
The topic of toughness and togetherness, the phrase John Groce embraced with his squad shortly after taking the Illinois job, came up early — one bracelet was even shown on screen — and late after Illinois rallied past its second-half funk.
Gminski wasn’t shy about questioning Illinois’ poor shot selection in the second half (rightly so) while the game resembled more like an SEC football game, which probably had Brando thinking he was back in the CBS pregame studio show he occupies during the fall.
Groce was intense in his halftime interview with Livingston, bellowing out a loud ‘Thank you,’ that fans could probably have heard in the first few rows. All in all, a solid broadcast and one that Illinois fans wouldn’t openly mock, a la Tim Doyle.