Indiana 80 Illinois 64: We Just Wanted A Week To Rest

USA TODAY Sports

So much for that season sweep of the Hoosiers.

Well that went pretty much exactly how we expected it to, didn't it?

Because of that, I'm not all that upset about this loss, though the way we played certainly gave many reasons to be upset. But as we've gone over, the way the Illini played today really wasn't anything new. They haven't looked good in a few weeks now.

What's strange is that the second half actually provided more optimism than anything I've seen over the last seven games. Okay, not on defense. Indiana was running a layup drill in the second half, but I don't think that is as much a reflection of our defense as is it's an indication of just how fucking good Indiana is. The Hoosiers just have too many ways to beat you.

But even with that layup drill, the Hoosiers only managed to outscore the Illini 45-43 in the second half. That was a good half to have.

Now we can just sit back and wait until the selection show on Sunday -- though, if you're like me, you'll be watching the rest of the B1G tournament too -- to find out where we're playing, who we're playing and when we're playing. It's a much different scenario than the ones we've dealt with on selection Sundays in recent years.

We have the chance to relax for a while, don't let a loss to Indiana ruin that for you.

Other Things

-- We should hope that the game tape of the first half is somehow lost and our tournament opponent(s) don't see it. Indiana came out with the sole mission of making sure that the Illini couldn't take threes and they did exactly that. And when they did it the Illini had absolutely no idea what to do with themselves. It's the drawback of playing our style of offense. When you face a defense that can guard the perimeter, you're in some deep doo doo.

-- Victor Oladipo had a highlight reel 360 dunk at the end of the game, but it wasn't his offense that mattered today. Yeah, he finished with 12 points, but half of them came when the outcome of this game had already been decided. No, where his real impact happened was on defense. Oladipo not only grabbed 11 rebounds, but he held Brandon Paul to 2-of-13 shooting. Even when you don't notice him, Oladipo is killing you.

-- To Brandon Paul's credit, he did not let his poor shooting deter him. Instead of sulking and settling for worse shots against Oladipo, he just attacked the rim and got to the free throw line a lot. That's how you finish with 16 points when you've only made two field goals.

-- A silver lining: Free throw shooting becomes more important than ever in the tournament, and the Illini hit 19 of their 21 free throws today. So not only did they get to the line, but they took advantage of it. Need that to continue next week.

-- Another silver lining: Joseph Bertrand seemed to come out of his funk a bit. He scored 10 points and that's the first time he's reached double-digits since he had 17 in our home loss to Wisconsin on February 3.

-- Sam McLaurin had five offensive rebounds today, but he also had three turnovers. I'm a fan of Sam, but he showed a lot of the reasons I seem to be in the minority today.

-- D.J. Richardson last four games: 12/48 (25%), 7/28 from three (25%).

-- Mike Sanzere is terrible.

Tempo-Free Stats

Illinois

eFG%: 38.8%

Points per possession: 0.90

Turnover rate: 16.9%

OR%: 27.3%

Free throw rate: 36.2%

Indiana

eFG%: 59.0%

Points per possession: 1.22

Turnover rate: 19.9%

OR%: 45.0%

Free throw rate: 48.0%

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.

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