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Old Dec 24, 2012, 03:27 PM   #1
trevdv
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Not to be looking too far ahead, but after the Auburn game, conference play begins. Just thought it'd be interesting to analyze the schedule, a couple things stick out to me:

- We don't have back-to-back road games until our last two games of the season.

- We have three sets of back-to-back home games.

- We play at least one ranked team every three times we play (sometimes two ranked teams).

- We play #5 Indiana, #20 Michigan State, and 11-2 Iowa only once.

Just some observations.

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Old Dec 24, 2012, 03:32 PM   #2
danielb927
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Originally Posted by trevdv View Post
Not to be looking too far ahead, but after the Auburn game, conference play begins. Just thought it'd be interesting to analyze the schedule, a couple things stick out to me:

- We don't have back-to-back road games until our last two games of the season.

- We have three sets of back-to-back home games.

- We play at least one ranked team every three times we play (sometimes two ranked teams).

- We play #5 Indiana, #20 Michigan State, and 11-2 Iowa only once.

Just some observations.

Only two sets of back-to-back home games, I think. OSU-Minny and UW-IU. That's four tough games, nice that we will always have to travel either only before or only after each.

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Old Dec 24, 2012, 04:44 PM   #3
Dan
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Wed, Jan 2____at Purdue___________7:30pm BTN
Sat, Jan 5____Ohio State__________1:15pm BTN
Wed, Jan 9____Minnesota___________8:00pm BTN
Sat, Jan 12___at Wisconsin________1:15pm BTN
Thu, Jan 17___Northwestern________7:15pm BTN
Tue, Jan 22___at Nebraska_________7:30pm BTN
Sun, Jan 27___Michigan____________5:00pm BTN
Thu, Jan 31___at Michigan State___6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 3____Wisconsin___________2:30pm BTN
Thu, Feb 7____Indiana_____________6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 10___at Minnesota________5:00pm BTN
Wed, Feb 13___Purdue______________8:00pm BTN
Sun, Feb 17___at Northwestern_____6:30pm BTN
Thu, Feb 21___Penn State__________7:15pm BTN
Sun, Feb 24___at Michigan_________TBD
Sat, Mar 2____Nebraska____________TBD
Tue, Mar 5____at Iowa_____________6:00pm BTN
Sun, Mar 10___at Ohio State_______TBD
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 07:38 AM   #4
peace davids
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Originally Posted by Dan View Post
Wed, Jan 2____at Purdue___________7:30pm BTN
Sat, Jan 5____Ohio State__________1:15pm BTN
Wed, Jan 9____Minnesota___________8:00pm BTN
Sat, Jan 12___at Wisconsin________1:15pm BTN
Thu, Jan 17___Northwestern________7:15pm BTN
Tue, Jan 22___at Nebraska_________7:30pm BTN
Sun, Jan 27___Michigan____________5:00pm BTN
Thu, Jan 31___at Michigan State___6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 3____Wisconsin___________2:30pm BTN
Thu, Feb 7____Indiana_____________6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 10___at Minnesota________5:00pm BTN
Wed, Feb 13___Purdue______________8:00pm BTN
Sun, Feb 17___at Northwestern_____6:30pm BTN
Thu, Feb 21___Penn State__________7:15pm BTN
Sun, Feb 24___at Michigan_________TBD
Sat, Mar 2____Nebraska____________TBD
Tue, Mar 5____at Iowa_____________6:00pm BTN
Sun, Mar 10___at Ohio State_______TBD
Looks like I need to invest in the Big Ten Network.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 08:01 AM   #5
AHSIllini32
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Sun, Jan 27___Michigan____________5:00pm BTN
Thu, Jan 31___at Michigan State___6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 3____Wisconsin___________2:30pm BTN
Thu, Feb 7____Indiana_____________6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 10___at Minnesota________5:00pm BTN
That stretch of games will probably define our season.

Find a way to go 3-2 in that stretch of 5 and you're looking at probably 25-7 (assuming we go into it at 17-3). However, lose the first couple and let it snowball and we could be 17-10 before we know it.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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I still think it will be a challenge to get to 9-9 in the B1G. There are multiple teams in the B1G that are quite capable of beating us at our place, and few teams that will be easy for us on the road.

I think we will have to scratch and claw to get wins all season long. Now I do think we will have some happy upsets as well as some painful losses. Still, 9-9 should get us to 22-10 in the regular season, which is a lock for the NCAA tourney, imo. That remains the goal for me. Once we get into the NCAA tourney, then all bets are off. Groce has a nice record when it comes to tourney play.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 10:10 AM   #7
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Two or three things about that five game stretch that AHS points out in post #5

First off I thought "holy ##*!@, we have a nasty schedule"
Then I realized "Everyone in the B1G has a stretch like that, it is just a question of when it happens".
Finally, some will handle it well, others will stumble.
I agree with 70math, 9-9 would make me quite happy.
Just think it is going to be a tough year, not because we are bad, but because nearly everyone is good. Or very good. Great to be a member of the premier conference.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 10:13 AM   #8
rdk573
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Originally Posted by Illini70math View Post
I still think it will be a challenge to get to 9-9 in the B1G. There are multiple teams in the B1G that are quite capable of beating us at our place, and few teams that will be easy for us on the road.

I think we will have to scratch and claw to get wins all season long. Now I do think we will have some happy upsets as well as some painful losses. Still, 9-9 should get us to 22-10 in the regular season, which is a lock for the NCAA tourney, imo. That remains the goal for me. Once we get into the NCAA tourney, then all bets are off. Groce has a nice record when it comes to tourney play.
agreed..this team has too many holes in the middle and still dependent on the outside shot falling to finish in the top half in the big10...However, I believe this team will eventually make the tournament..

....That being said, I think the probability is the same that we make a sweet sixteen appearance as we could lose to any team in the first round regardless of our seed...
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 01:55 PM   #9
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For me 9-9 in B1G play would be a bit of an under achievement. If you look at the schedule as a whole, 9-9 can be achieved with no wins against currently ranked teams (both home and away) with one loss left over to apply towards at Wisconsin (tough place to play regardless of their ranking) or at Iowa (I believe trev mentioned they are currently 11-2).

These Illini are certainly capable of one upset/ranked win at home and maybe even one on the road.

I'm going with 11-7 if not better.

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Old Dec 26, 2012, 04:21 PM   #10
U of I 89-05-10
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Originally Posted by Illini70math View Post
I still think it will be a challenge to get to 9-9 in the B1G. There are multiple teams in the B1G that are quite capable of beating us at our place, and few teams that will be easy for us on the road.

I think we will have to scratch and claw to get wins all season long. Now I do think we will have some happy upsets as well as some painful losses. Still, 9-9 should get us to 22-10 in the regular season, which is a lock for the NCAA tourney, imo. That remains the goal for me. Once we get into the NCAA tourney, then all bets are off. Groce has a nice record when it comes to tourney play.
I'm surprised you didn't mention that he was 34-30 in the MAC, man! Progress!
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 05:02 PM   #11
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This is how I'm choosing to look at it. I'm also assuming that we defend our home turf and whoop up on Auburn at the UC.

COMFORTABLE WINS
vs. NU
at UNL
vs. PU
vs. PSU
vs. UNL
Total = 5

GOOD CHANCE AT BEING A WIN
at PU
vs. UW
at NU
Total = 3

TOSS-UP
vs. #10 OSU
vs. #11 Minn.
vs. #5 IU
at Iowa
Total = 4

GOOD CHANCE AT BEING A LOSS
at UW
vs. #2 UM
Total = 2

GOING TO BE PRETTY TOUGH TO WIN
at #19 MSU
at #11 Minn.
at #2 UM
at #10 OSU
Total = 4

So, based on MY OPINIONS of how the games stack up, there are a few scenarios we could see:
1) We barely show up to play for the B1G schedule ... 5-13
2) We don't have any horrible losses but also can't hang with the good teams ... 8-10
3) We win our winnable games, lose the games we're expected to lose and split the tossup games ... 10-8
4) We take the tossup games, don't have bad losses and lose those that we are expected to ... 12-6
5) We take the Big Ten by storm, win all of our tossup games, don't have bad losses, and steal a few that we're underdogs in ... 14-4
6) ... Okay, this is a little too optimistic, haha.

Obviously, there can be a mixture of all of this! However, of the scenarios listed, I think 3 is by far the most probable, and that would put us FIRMLY in the Tournament as a decent seed in this year's Big Ten and considering our non-conference record (assuming we can defeat Auburn). This is not the same team it was last year. Believe it or not, though we could REALLY use him inside, the loss of Meyers was very much outweighed by a change in culture and coaching philosophy, IMO. Another thing that can't be stressed enough is that this team plays up or down to its competition ... which can be good and bad. However, I really do think that PSU, UNL and maybe even NU are not good enough to take advantage of that, and our players will be psyched to play in the other games. It's going to be a very, very fun year, I think! FTR, here are my game-by-game predictions:

GAME RESULT ... SCORE ... AP RANK AT START OF GAME
[W vs. Auburn (Chicago, IL) ... 81-65 ... #12]

W at Purdue ... 73-66 ... #12
W vs. Ohio State ... 79-76 ... #12

W vs. Minnesota ... 76-72 ... #9
L at Wisconsin ... 71-65 ... #9

W vs. Northwestern ... 81-67 ... #10

W at Nebraska ... 72-67 ... #10
L vs. Michigan ... 81-76 ... #10

L at Michigan State ... 71-62 ... #11
W vs. Wisconsin ... 68-60 ... #11

W vs. Indiana ... 84-83 ... #12
L at Minnesota ... 73-61 ... #12

W vs. Purdue ... 74-62 ... #11
L at Northwestern ... 69-68 ... #11

W vs. Penn State ... 86-68 ... #14
L at Michigan ... 81-69 ... #14

W vs. Nebraska ... 77-62 ... #16

W at Iowa ... 72-69 ... #15
L at Ohio State ... 76-67 ... #15

Final record/AP ranking before the BTT ... 24-8 (11-7) at what I think would be #14 in the AP. After a win and a loss in the BTT (which I think is pessimistic!), we'd be 25-9 (11-7), and with that resume and the Big Ten's toughness, I see a 4 seed in the Tournament ... and I think this team would thrive with that!! GO ILLINI!
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 08:27 PM   #12
AHSIllini32
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If we go into that Wisky game with 1 loss we will be ranked way higher than 9th...just like if we lost at Wisky we will drop more than 1 spot.

Solid analysis and pretty much makes sense.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 11:06 PM   #13
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So we have a good chance of beating Wisconsin at home, and good chance of losing to Wisconsin on the road? I know, I know...they never lose at the Kohl's Center. Except they do. We beat them there a couple years ago, and they lost there at least once or twice earlier this season. I would categorize both of those games as toss-ups.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:27 PM   #14
U of I 89-05-10
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So we have a good chance of beating Wisconsin at home, and good chance of losing to Wisconsin on the road? I know, I know...they never lose at the Kohl's Center. Except they do. We beat them there a couple years ago, and they lost there at least once or twice earlier this season. I would categorize both of those games as toss-ups.
Fair enough. However, I'm never confident of the 6 v 5 matchup we face up in Madison, and from what I've seen + the excitement around the program again, we're not losing to Wisconsin at the Hall. But like you've pointed out, there are a lot that could go in multiple categories! It's going to be an interesting year!
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