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Pregame: Illinois at Minnesota, Sunday, February 10th, 5:00pm CT, BTN

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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:44 PM   #1
Dan
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Game 25: Illinois (16-8, 3-7) at Minnesota (17-6, 5-5)

Sunday, February 10th

Williams Arena, Minneapolis, MN

Time: 5:00pm CT

TV: BTN

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Old Feb 7, 2013, 11:42 PM   #2
chiefcub69
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We never play good on late Sunday games but here's to hoping we are trending upwards and playing well after the huge win over Iu last night!
Illinois 68 minnesota 65
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 11:56 PM   #3
IlliniByProxy
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If, and it's a big if, the Illini can steal a game at the barn they will have a legitimate shot to get back to 9-9 in the conference. Of course that means they will have to play with more consistency than they have over the last month.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 02:27 AM   #4
IntenselyOrange
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Didn't we play Minny after the OSU win? I think they are a bad matchup for us. It will be difficult to build on that big win up there.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:32 AM   #5
RecLeagueHero
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If Minny shoots like they have been, we can win. They shot way over their average last time we played.

I'm hitting the road today for The Barn. Hope we can ride the wave of momentum and get another win!!
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:33 AM   #6
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They are beatable at the barn. Almost lost to Iowa at home 5 days ago.

Just gotta hustle, play with heart, and execute.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:54 AM   #7
Psycho 86
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Groce will have them focused !! Go Illini !!

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Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:04 AM   #8
RealWorld52
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This would be a tourney sealing game. I think we could have beat Minnesota the first time around.

If Griffey plays well, this is more like the team who won Maui, if not we are the team who got beat by Purdue. He is a big key to this season, like it or not.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:19 AM   #9
Larkin
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I remember thinking last year and before that I would prefer a mediocre Illinois team that played better offense. Now I guess the winning part is pretty important too.

Our current Pomeroy efficiency rankings
Off = 22; Def = 93

Last year, our rankings
Off = 126, Def = 39.

This is our best offensive ranking since Dee's last year. Since Dee left, we only had one year where our offensive efficiency was below 65, twice where it was higher than 110.

But this is our worst defensive ranking in probably quite awhile. Pomeroy's #'s only go back to 2003. Our lowest rating since 2003 was 49 (in 2010, our NIT year).

Seems like it should definitely be doable for this team to play better defense, right? Hopefully the players and staff can get it done.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:20 AM   #10
AK Illini
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MN 69 IL 49
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:44 AM   #11
PointGuardU01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
I remember thinking last year and before that I would prefer a mediocre Illinois team that played better offense. Now I guess the winning part is pretty important too.

Our current Pomeroy efficiency rankings
Off = 22; Def = 93

Last year, our rankings
Off = 126, Def = 39.

This is our best offensive ranking since Dee's last year. Since Dee left, we only had one year where our offensive efficiency was below 65, twice where it was higher than 110.

But this is our worst defensive ranking in probably quite awhile. Pomeroy's #'s only go back to 2003. Our lowest rating since 2003 was 49 (in 2010, our NIT year).

Seems like it should definitely be doable for this team to play better defense, right? Hopefully the players and staff can get it done.
Interesting that Kenpom shows us having played the 2nd toughest schedule in the country...who's no. 1? Minnesota! Both teams have been through the gauntlet, both have hit some bumps, both have some nice wins. Should be a good game. I felt we out-played them in the barn last year and got robbed, hopefully we pull it off this time. Im done with predictions.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:46 AM   #12
IlliniRunIn07
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Whatever got into the team last night, I hope JG bottled that and saved the recipe. A win on Sunday would practically solidify our tourney hopes barring an epic melton (which I am not ruling out by any means). I would feel so much better about our postseason prospects with a win in this game.

That being said, I don't think it happens. It's far from impossible, but I'd bet Minny beats us by double digits. I don't think it will be the blowout that happened at the Hall, but I think Minny just pulls away in the final minutes.

MN -74
UI - 64
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:53 AM   #13
Illini70math
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We need four more wins to make the NCAA tourney. If we win the home games (Purdue, PSU, and Nebraska), that means we need to win one on the road out of Minny, Northwestern, Michigan, Iowa, and tOSU.

I am concerned about Purdue, not because they are good but because we have trouble with them. Beating Minny would be huge in terms of giving us some leeway to make the Big Dance.

UI and Minny are similar in our ability to play very poorly or very well regardless of the opponent. Hopefully our guys have gotten the shooting monkey off their backs. That is what killed us in our first game with Minny -- plus the fact that they shot out of their gourds.

One game at a time.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 08:07 AM   #14
Cool Hand Luke
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I don't believe we will win this game, but if we did it would be huge. 4-7 vs. 3-8. Only 1 game, but it's such a huge difference.

We never win a big game when I predict it. Therefore...

Minny: 72
Illini: 60

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Old Feb 8, 2013, 08:53 AM   #15
Ransom Stoddard
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Beating IU last night is a big reminder to the league of how dangerous this Illini team can be, and probably puts an extra spark into the game planning and practice of our opponents. Minny plays a very physical brand of basketball and will probably be getting some home cooking in the barn (they were getting home cooking in AH for crying out loud). I think our guys still play tough and together, but I don't see a win here.

Gophers - 74
- 69
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:10 AM   #16
drumanimal
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I think we can win at the Barn!! Why not.....
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:14 AM   #17
CrazedUIFan
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This is going to be a tough matchup for us. Like IntenselyOrange said, we don't matchup that well against them. How well can this team regain focus after an emotional win? Will it bring confidence or will they be hung over?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:15 AM   #18
scubadunk
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Originally Posted by CrazedUIFan View Post
This is going to be a tough matchup for us. Like IntenselyOrange said, we don't matchup that well against them. How well can this team regain focus after an emotional win? Will it bring confidence or will they be hung over?
Remember we didnt match up well with Gonzaga and Indiana due to the bigs. Your right its all about focus and can they stay focused after a huge win. In the past the players have not so Im hoping something changes.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:17 AM   #19
IlliniByProxy
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If the Illini can pull off another upset that would give them 5 wins over CURRENT top 25 teams. Is there any other team in the country that has that resume?
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:28 AM   #20
CrazedUIFan
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Remember we didnt match up well with Gonzaga and Indiana due to the bigs. Your right its all about focus and can they stay focused after a huge win. In the past the players have not so Im hoping something changes.
The bonus against Indiana though is their lack of PG quickness. Hulls isn't typically a penetrating and kick guard. We have struggled with defensive rotation when that happens. Indiana isn't a physical team either. MN has some good guard quickness and are very physical at the 3-5 spot.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:30 AM   #21
Thacher_H_Guild
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I don't think this is a win on the road, but the last game with them turned on three things:
a. Minny shooting lights out (60% from 3)
b. Illinois shooting really bad (3 of 24 from 3)
c. Minny getting way too many easy baskets pushing the ball (including fast breaks after rebounds--it wasn't that they were turning Illinois over).

If Illinois can repeat their good performance on the boards from that game (almost broke even against a team with a clear edge in bruise-making ability), get back on defense, and turn Minny over a lot again, they have a chance.

The reason I don't think it is a great chance is part of the bad shooting from Illinois is Minny usually plays very tough on defense and they certainly did in the first meeting. It got to the point where I remember thinking the Illinois players seemed surprised when they got a good open shot, and that was part of why they were missing so many. It will be really important to take advantage of the offensive opportunities when they get them because Minnesota does a good job of taking away a lot of what teams want to do.

Would be a HUGE win.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:36 AM   #22
LouAlcinder
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Originally Posted by AK Illini View Post
MN 69 IL 49
Yikes, that would suck the life out of us.

IL 72
MN 64
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:57 AM   #23
mattcoldagelli
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We beat Minnesota 20 times in a row once. Just throwing that out there because I like to say it.

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Old Feb 8, 2013, 10:05 AM   #24
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Minny's been scuffling a bit and they are prone to turning the ball over, we have a chance. If TG and DJ stay hot, we can win this one.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 10:06 AM   #25
HeartofaChampion
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Originally Posted by Ransom Stoddard View Post
Beating IU last night is a big reminder to the league of how dangerous this Illini team can be, and probably puts an extra spark into the game planning and practice of our opponents. Minny plays a very physical brand of basketball and will probably be getting some home cooking in the barn (they were getting home cooking in AH for crying out loud). I think our guys still play tough and together, but I don't see a win here.

Gophers - 74
- 69
+1. We just don't match up well with their combo of size, physicality and athleticism. Gotta get back on D much better on Sunday than our first meeting, too. I think we'll be a little flat emotionally, too, which is to be expected after last night.

MN 75
UI 70
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