Illinois was supposed to be fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives this afternoon against Michigan, but that was far from the case. There was no fight today. In fact, there wasn't much of anything; no urgency, no emotion, no pride. Nothing.
It was fairly evident from the get-go that the Fighting Illini (19-13, 9-10) were in store for a long day as the Wolverines (16-15, 9-10) built an early 12-2 lead. Jaylon Tate and Leron Black were inserted into the lineup after the first media timeout and they were the primary reason behind the 'comeback' to tie the game at 19, but it was all Michigan from there. The Wolverines proceeded to end the half on a 23-4 run.
I can't really tell you what happened during the last 20 minutes because it was too embarrassing to watch.
What We Learned:
1. Hello, NIT
In case there was any doubt heading into the day, Illinois' NCAA Tournament hopes are over. The Illini faithful are in store for yet another disappointing Selection Sunday. The NIT selection show will be taking place on ESPNU at 7:30pm CT this Sunday. Illinois will probably be given a No. 1 seed, which is an 'improvement' from last season, but that unfortunately won't matter. Due to the State Farm Center renovations, Illinois will be forced to play any and all of their post season games on the road.
2. Literally nothing else
It's going to be long, dreadful offseason in Champaign. At least we can all look forward to Illinois Football this Fall.