Saturday, January 21, 2006

University of Illinois Basketball

Happy news, today, although not happy watching since I am living in the Big Ten basketball desert. Illinois beat Northwestern at Northwestern. That may seem like no biggie--Northwestern isn't known as a basketball powerhouse after all, but they can be tough on their home court. Two years ago, I think, they did beat us. It was mortifying but inspired greater effort after. Here are some factoids about Illinois basketball:

• Illinois is the second-winningest team in the nation over the past five-and-a-half seasons. Illinois has won 157 games since the beginning of the 2000-01 season, which trails only Duke (167 wins).
Bruce Weber is the second-winningest coach in the nation over the past four-and-a-half seasons. Since the beginning of the 2001-02 season, Weber has won 131 games, recording 52 wins in his final two years at Southern Illinois and 79 wins in his first two-and-a-half years at Illinois. He trails Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (132) by one win over this time period.
• Illinois and Duke are the only two schools in the nation to win at least 25 games each of the last five seasons.
• Illinois, Duke and Oklahoma State are the only three teams to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 each of the last two seasons.

In other basketball news, Georgetown beat Duke--thus ending speculation about Duke's potential undefeated season. Take it from me, Duke fans, better now than the last game of the regular season which is what happened to Illinois last year. By then your run is BIG news and the team that takes you down is really obnoxious. Ohio--ick--they reaaalllllyyy enjoyed beating us. Georgetown was over the top happy today, I gather they stormed the court, but it would have been worse later in the season.

Meanwhile, I am interested to note that we played Georgetown earlier this season and beat them by 10. Does this mean Illinois would be a contender against Duke, the monolith? I can't say, but I can dream, can't I?

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