Cats beat Illinois at home

96-91 in OT, first win against a Top 10 rated Illini team since 1958 (I think). A big Q1 win, too. Boo had 29 including a big 3 to start the scoring in OT.

Our 3 conference losses have come against over .500( in conference )teams. Theocratically implies a weaker than average conference schedule remaining


First time the Cats have two wins over Top 10 teams in the same season, too!

Well, the Big Ten is not as deep this year as it has been, but no games are gonna be gimmies.

That the rest of the season has fewer high quality teams is a mixed blessing as regards making the tournament. That’s why this win was huge.

I just got back from the game. What an incredible atmosphere! I hope all of you get to experience it!


That trip to Purdue will be the biggest challenge, but the games against Nebraska, Indiana and Michigan State will be challenging, too, and the latter two are on the road.

The students were certainly rocking the joint. They were getting on Shannon, chanting ‘No means No’, and ‘Guilty’ and ‘Lock him up’. Don’t know if it had any impact, but he’ll probably get this in all of Illinois’ remaining road games.

I remember some joyous games back in the 60’s. My wife, not a big basketball fan, stayed up to watch the game to its happy end and then had trouble winding back down to get to sleep. The BTN rightly called it one of the best college games of the year.

Great win. I’ve been saying for a while that the difference between #3-4 and #11-12 in the conference is going to be protecting home court. The teams who succeed at that will be in the top half of that middle bunch; the ones who fail will be in the bottom. But the margins will be thin. The ‘Cats have done that so far and won at Penn State. Hopefully, we can continue defending Welsh-Ryan and pick up another couple on the road.

What was the crowd chanting with regard to Terrence Shannon? I couldn’t catch it over the tv.


See my last post for what they were chanting.

Lots of room for turmoil at the top of the standings, Wisconsin still has 2 games against Purdue and a home game against Illinois. Purdue also has to go to Illinois.

“Lock Him Up”, “No Means No” and “Guilty”.

Paul Sullivan’s Trib column today is on last night’s game and Shannon. I don’t know if it is behind their paywall. He notes:

And on Friday, U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless granted the injunction, saying Shannon would “suffer irreparable harm” by not playing for the Illini. The suspension “can and will impact his career opportunities, current income from his NIL (name, image, likeness) contract, and anticipated future income,” she wrote.

So, NIL is affecting things that affect playing decisions. Will we reach the point where play calling is impacted by NIL? Could players sue over being benched?

It WAS a great game.

IMHO, the story of the game was the Cats defense.

They have another level of intensity that they seem to be able to summon. You could see that in the waning moments of regulation and it was the difference in OT.

BB proved that he is an assassin with a couple of three point shots. The Cats made the FT’s that they needed to make during the last two minutes. But what was really impressive was their ability to confidently beat the desperation press that Illini deployed when the game got out of hand.

All in all, not perfect, but a thing of beauty none the less. Would have been nice to avoid fouling their point shooters twice and the flagrant foul call on Berry was evidence of the flaws in that rule. But to build a double digit lead in OT over the #10 team in the country who beat you the last time by 30 was ample payback. The Illini were defeated emotionally as well as physically - pure poetry.


And remember when we lost by 30, the Illini didn’t have their best player eligible as they did last night


The big win against Illinois didn’t seem to affect Lunardi’s projections much, we’re still in the group of 4 ‘last byes’ with a 10 seed. Didn’t affect Illinois much, either, they’re still a 4 seed.

I’m assuming that Q4 loss to Chicago State is gonna drag us down all season.

Gotta keep winning.

Cats with blowout win against Ohio State. Up by over 30 for a bit ;won by 25. Don’t know if we will be ranked , but IMO, we should be.

Consider :

Big win agsinst 10th ranked Illinois and blowout of Buckeyes this week

3 low ranked teams lost today including Colorado State at 24 and Dayton at 16 (a team we beat ) thus potentially opening up at least 1 spot

Mississippi State beat #8 Auburn. MSU was one of 2 NC teams which we lost , their upset today should elevate them


it’s that other loss that’s the problem when it comes to ranking or seeding. The only way to minimize it is keep winning.

BTN noted that our kenpom ranking went from 56 to 47 after last night’s game. None of the remaining home games will be Q1, though some road games will be. Will they qualify for a double-bye at the Big Ten Tournament?

and our NET ranking went from 67 to 61. This was a pretty big (and impressive) win. The Cats are 4-4 in Q1 games.

The next two games (at Purdue and at Minnesota) will be interesting.