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Be A Prisoner of This Moment

Enjoy it, and buckle up.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever happens the next five days, enjoy it.

If Illinois wins at Ohio State on national television on Thursday, enjoy it.

If Illinois beats Iowa on Senior Day on Sunday and wins a share of the Big Ten title, enjoy it.

If Illinois loses both games this week and drops to the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament — or still manages a top-four seed somehow — you’re still allowed to enjoy it.

Boy, we’ve suffered the past decade — and especially the past four years — that whatever happens here over these two games, we can soak it in. We can be prisoners of this moment.

Isn’t that exciting? Literally everything fell the Illini’s way to the point where they control their own destiny. A NCAA Tournament bid is locked at this point, but A BIG TEN TITLE??? WHAT!? Insanity!

And, if the Illini flame out in both postseason tournaments and we go to the offseason pretty upset, we may forget about this moment. We may forget that after the hell we were put through for the better part of the 2010s — and especially 2015-19— there was the time on March 4th — or what will be March 5th once the Illini head to Columbus— that Illinois was in position to win the Big Ten title.

I’ve said this several times now over the past few months: This isn’t the destination, but just a pitstop. Look no further than next year’s incoming class.

Except this pitstop may involve a Big Ten championship banner, and wouldn't that be something?

So soak it in, cheer on the Illini, and be a prisoner of this moment, because knowing our luck, we might not fall into the best possible situation again anytime soon.