Before the season began my biggest goal for the year was to see this Illinois basketball team qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Making the tournament only two times in the last five seasons -- and not advancing to the second weekend since losing to North Carolina in the 2005 title game -- was not only unacceptable, but also pretty damn depressing.
Don't get me wrong, whether the Illini are in it or not, I'll enjoy the tournament and watch just about ever damn game. It's just it's more fun/stressful when the Illini are in it. And, let's be real, this is a program that should be getting to the dance as a minimum.
And if the season ended right now, not only would the Illini be in the tournament, but they'd be a #4 seed according to Joe Lunardi. I could quibble and say that considering their ranked 10th in the country they should be a #3 seed, but HOLY CRAP WE'RE A #4 SEED. For now.
We won't be come March.*
*Hey, every time I say the Illini can't do something they go and do it
-- As we all know by now, and A Lion Eye points out, when watching Illinois play basketball, just expect the opposite to happen. Every. Time.
-- The sale of Big Ten mini-packs have picked up quite a bit the last few days, but there are still 700 tickets left for the Ohio State game on January 5th and 2,000 tickets left for Indiana on February 7th.
-- It won't be Illinois he's choosing, but Jabari Parker will finally announce his commitment on December 20th.
-- Illinois announced a new 10-year agreement with Learfield Sports as its marketing partner and multimedia rights holder. I don't really know what this means, either.
-- Oh, and Paul McCartney will be playing the role of Kurt Cobain when Nirvana "reunites" for tonight's Hurricane Sandy relief concert.