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It has to be UNC if they beat Duke -- they're the best team in the country, despite what Illinois' record says.

They are the only team who you consider elevating, and they have to beat Duke to be considered.

However, it'd be the wrong move.

Illinois IS the best team in the nation.

If UNC played in a very weak Big Ten, they'd only have one loss too.

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It's been quite a day for college basketball. Illinois, Kentucky and Kansas all lost and UNC came from behind to beat Duke. :)

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This will be good for Illinois in the long run, they had to lose sometime, why not now when even with a loss they still should be #1 AND reatain a #1 seed. The tournament is the only thing that counts now.

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Usually I'm along the train of thought that a loss like this could be a good thing -- but I think this Illinois team was mature enough to where they didn't need one. Even then, the loss should've affect 'em.

They definetely won't be #1 in the Nation after UNC beat Duke without Rashad McCants. UNC is the best team in the country -- and they'll be the most battle tested team in the Final Four. Not that the #1 in the Nation means anything, anymore -- but still, they'll probably fall to #2.

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I was actually lucky enough to go to this game...loudest I've ever heard the Schott/Value City Arena! That took some balls by both Matta and Sylvester to call and take that 3 to win the game. Things are really looking up next year :D

It was also sooo great to see those 3 or 4,000 Illini fans leaving the building stunned

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I have this to say: I could feel this coming. I don't know why, but I felt that today was gonna be the day that Illinois got knocked off. Now that that's out of the way, they will proceed to steamroll the rest of the nation and become National Dictators of basketball for the 2004-05 campaign.

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Well this is Basketabll and thankfully the rankings dont amtter in the long run just the field of 65.

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Incredibly weak big ten? I'd say its down this year from years past, but 3 teams are in the top 25. Nobody wants to play Wisconsin or Michigan State in the tournament. You can make cases for Minnesota and Indiana making the tourney, and Ohio State is no slouch. Its always a tough conference. With probably the most physical play in America. If you compare the top 8 to the ACC top 8, they are pretty much the same. (Top to bottom, no question ACC rules the Big Ten) Basically I'm just saying the Big Ten isn't "incredibly weak."

UNC lost to Santa Clara. I don't care if its the begining of the year, that shouldn't happen. Don't get me wrong, They are a hell of a team, and I'd love to see them in the final four play Illinois.

But, lets look at common opponets:

Wake Forest. Illinois was up by 30 and wins by 18. UNC lost by 12...with Rashand McCants as their leading scorer. Advantage: Illinois

Iowa: Illinois needs OT to win one game, brought to the wire in the other. UNC beats them by 14. Advantage: UNC

Indiana: UNC beats by 7 on the road (in a fairily close game if I remember right). Illinois by 23 at home. Advantage: Push

Illinois won at Wisconsin something nobody did for 26 games. Won at Michigan State, one of the hardest places to win in the country. Beat Wake at home. Beat Gonzaga. G-town at home, Arkansas in Little Rock, Cincy in a HS gym. They are good, damn good.

Arrogent Illinois Fans? I've never heard that in my life. Mainly because we rarely have much to brag about outside of the Big Ten. We've got a solid program. But top 10 in the last few years has been hard to crack. We're a team that does what we're spost to every year. Sweet 16, Elite 8 a couple years ago. But never any further. If we go as far as we are spost to this year, I'll be outside the Edward Jones Dome with a big smile on my face in early april. Now, I have heard us whining about being underrated every year.

Why will Illinois have 2 loses? If they lose in the Big Ten Tournament, yeah they'll have 2. But right now they have one.

This will be a kick in the ass for them. Northwestern/Michigan can't be happy about this game cause they are the first team Illinois plays next.

It was a one point loss basically at the buzzer to a good team on the road. They were unanimous number 1 for what....12 weeks? I really don't care if Illinois is number 1 or not tomorrow, but in all honesty, they should be. They are still 29-1. Nobody else in america has one loss, that's counting mid major conferences.

It took Illinois 30 games to have an off night for all 3 guards. It won't happen in the next 9. They also were playing at 10am their time. That won't happen the rest of the year. Everyone (other teams) is going to have to deal with Illinois basically playing home games the rest of the year, and they deserve it. They've lost 3 games in champaign, carry a 14-3 record in Chicago, and have lost twice in indy--all since the year 2000. They also haven't lost in St. Louis in about 5 years. They are fine.

All in all, I'm not gonna lie, I felt this coming as well. If anygame they were gonna lose, I'm glad its this one.

Ok, I'm done. Sorry there are only 3 teams I care about at all. The Bears, The Cardinals, and The Illini.

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Well said Pat, well said.

If UNC jumps Illinois for #1, it will be a meaningless tragedy.

I don't see how this is good for the Illini. It just isn't. Bruce Weber will do what he can to find the positives, but this isn't good. That said, they can shake it off.

I'll be in Chicago watching them do it.

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Incredibly weak big ten? I'd say its down this year from years past, but 3 teams are in the top 25. Nobody wants to play Wisconsin or Michigan State in the tournament. You can make cases for Minnesota and Indiana making the tourney, and Ohio State is no slouch. Its always a tough conference. With probably the most physical play in America. If you compare the top 8 to the ACC top 8, they are pretty much the same. (Top to bottom, no question ACC rules the Big Ten) Basically I'm just saying the Big Ten isn't "incredibly weak."

Umm...i dont think so. Neutral site, Illinois would struggle against each of the big 3 of the ACC, and i seriously doubt theyd come out better than 1-2 against them in said scenario. Wisconsin and Michigan St are solid teams, but again, Wake, Duke, and UNC would kill them neutral. The 4-8 of the Big Ten against the ACCs couterparts? No freakin' way. Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio State, all terribly flawed teams lacking in talent.

Wake Forest. Illinois was up by 30 and wins by 18. UNC lost by 12...with Rashand McCants as their leading scorer. Advantage: Illinois

You failed to mention that Carolina came back to beat Wake by 9 AT Wake. I'd call that a push.

Illinois won at Wisconsin something nobody did for 26 games. Won at Michigan State, one of the hardest places to win in the country. Beat Wake at home. Beat Gonzaga. G-town at home, Arkansas in Little Rock, Cincy in a HS gym. They are good, damn good.

I'll give you the Wisky and MSU wins...very well done there. However, Gonzaga at home, Wake at home, Oregon at home, and that H.S. gym you played Cincy in was neutral Las Vegas, you're only credible non-Big Ten road victory. Arkansas at 18-11 (6-10) in a weak SEC is yesterday's news and not a notable win in most people's books.

Sorry if I come off like an old grump in this post. It's just that Illinois has been a flawed team with flawed statistics for a while. They cant hang with bigger, physical teams or teams with athletes that cause matchup problems, which is why a slightly above average OSU team was able to beat them (OSU even challenged Illinois in Champaign throughout the first half!). I've been on some Illinois boards that said it was an off shooting night for Illinois, and it wasn't that bad. Deron was dropping bricks, I'll give you that. But Dee proved he's easily rattled. He had 11 points before the first airball in the 1st half, he finished with 13 total points, the final 2 coming from split pairs from the line. This teams lack of composure, lack strength, lack of depth (foul trouble also killed them today), and lack of true road/neutral experience will hurt them down the road. They likely will roll to the Big Ten tourney title (held in Chicago), and have a good shot in their regional final (also Chicago), too, but this team is far too weak and untested to win a national title. Period.

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HappyB, your so far off on your Illinois analysis.

Let me just pretend that they can't win in a road or neutral setting. No problem.

Chicago-play home games and big ten tourney games

Indianapolis-play occassional big ten tournies there

St. Louis-huge contengincy of fans and play vs Mizzou each year

Now, the fact is, they don't have all the problems you point out.

It doesn't take 30 games for a major conference team's flaws to get exposed. It did take 30 games for the Illini to have an off night. THAT is amazing.

Dee easily rattled? There may be no more clutch player on the team. He thrives under pressure. See the Michigan game where he had 3 huge steals.

Lacking in strength? That's a myth. Deron Williams is a very strong an powerful guard, and Augustine, Powell, and Ingram are very underrated inside. In fact, Augustine was a strong point today. It was our guards shooting that hurt us today.

Again, it doesn't take 30 games for a lack of depth to show up. The Illini have been in foul trouble before, and they manage. One, they know how to play with 3 and 4 fouls. Two, the bench play of Ingram, McBride, Smith, and Carter is very underrated.

Oh, and the Illini certainly don't lack composure. All year long when they would get in a small predicament, they never paniced. To be honest, it may have hurt them today. They could have used a little more urgency. But they stayed very composed.

I'll disagree with you on the lack of road/neutral experience, but as I said above anyway, it's not gonna play a part down the road anyways.

I now see that there might actually be one good thing from this lost. I thought they'd earned more respect than they did. Hopefully they say a lot of the people suddenly ragging on them and are back out to prove a point.

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dude...neutral site or switching sites doesn't make up for a 30 point difference. Illinois had reserves in at the end of the game. They haven't played Duke or UNC for a few years. Assembly hall is tough place to play, but it ain't worth 30+ points.

Hopefully we'll see how they do against UNC in the Final Four.

Carolina lost at Wake. When did they beat them at Wake this year?

Va Tech, Maryland, and NC State have no serious flaws with tremendous talent. You got me there.

What is flawed about Illinois other than their depth? (their depth sucks, no denying that...sorry STL but I it scares me when some of those guys (Nick Smith) get in there) They have 3 guards where if any one of them was on a different team, they would have been an all-american. Augustine is a very capable inside presense. Their Defense is usually pretty solid. They shoot the lights out. They have a coach of the year canidate in Bruce Weber. Were 29 straight wins luck?

The Oregon and Gonzaga wins are as neutral as Illinois needs this year. Cause that's where they are playing the rest of the year. (Indianapolis and Chicago) The only reason I bring up the Arkansas win was it was in Little Rock and it was against a good young team. Playing on the road is never an easy task no matter where it is.

Every single voting member of teh Coaches Poll and AP must be morons.

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we're both pretty set in the belief of our arguments, so I guess all we can do is wait till the end of March. Good luck to ya

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In other upsets . . .

MIZ!

ZOU!

MIZ!

ZOU!

MIZ!

ZOU!

There, I've had my fun. Resume your discussions of teams that actually will be going to the NCAA's.

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In other upsets . . .

MIZ!

ZOU!

MIZ!

ZOU!

MIZ!

ZOU!

There, I've had my fun. Resume your discussions of teams that actually will be going to the NCAA's.

What he said. All of it.

For one day, I can reiterate my favourite college basketball line:

"Suck. Choke. Jayhawk."

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In other upsets . . .

MIZ!

ZOU!

MIZ!

ZOU!

MIZ!

ZOU!

There, I've had my fun.  Resume your discussions of teams that actually will be going to the NCAA's.

What he said. All of it.

For one day, I can reiterate my favourite college basketball line:

"Suck. Choke. Jayhawk."

I wonder why it's your favourite college basketball line? :therock:

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Incredibly weak big ten?  I'd say its down this year from years past, but 3 teams are in the top 25.  Nobody wants to play Wisconsin or Michigan State in the tournament.  You can make cases for Minnesota and Indiana making the tourney, and Ohio State is no slouch.  Its always a tough conference.  With probably the most physical play in America.  If you compare the top 8 to the ACC top 8, they are pretty much the same.  (Top to bottom, no question ACC rules the Big Ten)  Basically I'm just saying the Big Ten isn't "incredibly weak."

So how'd the Big Ten fair in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge?

I do know this, the Big Ten has 3 locks for the NCAA Tournament -- and they are Michigan State (who's played all of 2 or 3 top 25 teams all year) and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin lost to Maryland, a bubbleteam that went 7-9 in Conference play.

Michigan State lost to Duke.

The Big Ten is not even comparable to the ACC, the ony conference that is is the Big East. The reason the middle teams in the ACC don't look so good is because they have to playeachother -- teams like Maryland, etc. could still beat just about any team the Big Ten can throw at them on a neutral court. Teams that went 10-6 in the Big Ten were bubble teams, compared to the fact that teams that went 8-8 or 7-9 in the ACC are bubble teams.

I didn't see any of you guys debating me when I said Illinois would go undefeated because they play in a very weak Big Ten -- so why are you guys debating this now?

Illinois benefitted from a weak Big Ten -- if they played at Duke, at UNC, at Wake Forest, even at Maryland, etc. every night -- it would be a 3 loss team, at best.

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I personally didn't see you say it was a "incredibly weak" big ten earlier in the year. But had I, i would have debated you.

I agree, ACC is better htan the Big Ten. I said that before. Its much better. Its not a question. I just noticed the records were similar in the top 8. I thought I mentioned that but I looked back and it looked like I did say that I thought the top 8 could hang. However, I just was defending the fact that the big ten is not "incredibly weak." If it was "incredibly weak" they'd have less than 3 teams ranked in the top 25.

But to say that Illinois would lose all those games, you have no idea that would happen. When they did play one of the "mighty ACC giants" they had reserves in at the end of the game. Wake Forest wasn't missing anyone and Chris Paul played his regular on one night off the next. Sure it was at Illinois, but noplace in the country is worth a 30+ point swing. Not Cameron, Not Michigan State, not the Dean Dome, and definatly not the Assembly hall.

In fact, Illinois has played against those top ACC teams extremely well over the last few years. Beating Duke a few times and the times they lost, only by a couple. And losing to UNC in Greensburo by 7 last year with a much weaker team than this year. (I won't count when Illinois pounded them under Matt Doretty). Those teams were no where near the team Illinois is this year. Yes, its not this year, but this year Illinois did destroy Wake Forest.

Edit: I'm leaving in my stupidity. Illinois beat duke before 2000. It seemed like it was after that. Always remember...I'm an idiot.

And Yellowcard sucks! :)

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Give it up for Thad Matta.

He defeats the last undefeated in div I last year when knocking off Saint Joseph's as the coach at Xavier.

Now he defeats the last undefeated in div I this year when knocking off Illinois as the coach at Ohio State.

thad_matta_JamieSquire.jpg

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