NIT Pregame: #2 Illinois at #4 UCF, Wednesday, March 22nd, 6:00pm CT, ESPN2

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Orlando
Two more of us over in section 204 row d :) I work with mostly UCF folks they're all actually talking about the game and no one here EVER talks about UCF basketball, it's all about football around here.
 
Washington, DC
UCF has a 10,000 seat arena. They sold about 3,700 tix for the first round NIT game against Colorado. During the regular season, they sold fewer than 5,000 for the game against first place SMU.

And this is the game they sell out? What is going on here? Do students get free tickets, so that a sale of 3,700 tickets really meant that they filled 10,000 seats?
 
Class of 2017, Comp Eng
UCF has a 10,000 seat arena. They sold about 3,700 tix for the first round NIT game against Colorado. During the regular season, they sold fewer than 5,000 for the game against first place SMU.

And this is the game they sell out? What is going on here? Do students get free tickets, so that a sale of 3,700 tickets really meant that they filled 10,000 seats?
Students do seem to get free tickets:

https://twitter.com/UCFKnights/status/844581449974124546
 
Tracy Abrams over the last 10 games:

9.7 points
3.6 rebounds
2.7 assists (to 0.7 turnovers - 3.9:1 ratio)
1.2 steals
46.2% 3pt (18-39)
47.9% FG


He's playing just as efficiently as he was the first 12 games of the season. If he hadn't endured a horrific slump from the Missouri game through the Minnesota game on 2/4 (exactly 12 games), his final season would go down in Illini lore as the ultimate redemption story (esp. if his strong play carried us to another win or two and into the tournament).

The middle twelve games of the year, his slump was epic: 4.6 ppg, 2.6 reb, 1.4 ast (to 1.5 turnovers), 0.7 stl, 23.9% FG, 12.1% 3pt (4-33), all while continuing to play over 22 min/game. Obviously, the level of competition factors in to some extent, but Tracy has put up great numbers against plenty of solid teams this year; the middle stretch seems like an outlier even if his performance should have been expected to dip against B1G opponents.

Now that good Tracy is back, we're on a bit of a tear. He's really been a difference maker this year for better and worse.
Thanks for posting this. For me this is one of the few bright spots that are Illini bball this year. Love seeing Tracy finish strong.
 
Color guys?

Bill Raftery is the king, he might be the best ever in any sport. Jay Bilas is great. Steve Lavin is great. I like Dakich a lot. Len Elmore is pretty good, CWebb has been really good since he started doing it. We're biased, but I always enjoy Stephen Bardo.
:clappy: Great list but I add Lundquist, move Dakich down about 4 notches and add Jim Nance with his rugged good looks and velvety voice as the best straight man.
 
:clappy: Great list but I add Lundquist, move Dakich down about 4 notches and add Jim Nance with his rugged good looks and velvety voice as the best straight man.
Well those are play-by-play guys.

But it is worth mentioning the true ongoing national tragedy: Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery being split up into different broadcast pairings for the NCAA tournament. Those two were the greatest of all time. I'm all for Raftery joining Nantz and Grant Hill for the Final Four, more Raftery never hurts. But for the regional rounds, in these trying times America needs the Verne and Bill Show now more than ever.
 
5. Anyone but Vitale
4. Anyone but Doris Burke
3. Anyone but Beth Mowins
2. Anyone but Gus Johnson
1. Anyone but Vitale

In reality my top 5 are
1. Lundquist
2. Raftery
3. Lavin
4. Sean McDonough
5. Rece Davis
To my ears, I could not tolerate Brent Musburger. He began as a sports print journalist which was his true calling. On the pro sports side, Joe Buck requires the sound to be turned down pronto.
 
Washington, DC
I followed a bunch of links from there (yeah, yeah, way too much time on my hands) and it looks like there may be a total of 1,000 free student tickets, perhaps as the result of some sort of a donation, and that student ticket prices go to $4 each once the 1,000 are gone.

Anyway, looks like they are trying hard to fill all the seats for this one.
 
Louisville, KY
When you consider their football program recently, it must just be hell going to school there in terms of sports. Too busy partying most days anyways I'd assume.
 
Carbondale, IL
I remember my dad HATING Billy Packer, but this was before I was immersed in internet fan takes. Was that a common opinion?
 
Champaign, IL.
UCF's twitter page is lit! They are giving out free student tickets, the major is involved, and its gonna be sold out! They are pumped!
 
I remember my dad HATING Billy Packer, but this was before I was immersed in internet fan takes. Was that a common opinion?
Hating Billy PACCker ? No not in the least. :rage: If you were a fan of Duke, North Carolina or the rest of the ACC in the tourney, Billy Packer was sweet music to your ears.


Big Ten fans? Maybe not so much. My peer group and I (in our 40s and 50s now) could not stand the guy. This is probably 10-15 Illini fans total out of ... 10-15 Illini fans total.
 
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My biggest concern isn't Taco, but UCFs little quick guard. Those players have given the team fits all season. I'm hoping Lucas can contain him and we can hit open shots. I'm nervous about this game. It's a weird matchup with their mix of players who we really don't have great compliments for defensively, not sure how effective Morgan will be and what that will do the drive and dish part of our offense
 
Biggest thing to watch for in this game is how many times UCF drives right past our defenders for layups and or drop offs. We did a horrible job of defending that against Boise St. Definitely need to clean that up for this one.
 
Washington, DC
If we do not get a nice run at the start, this could be a long night.
 
Orlando, FL
I'll make a little noise in section 103 with a couple of my adult sons...one went to UCF, graduated 1st in his class in the honors college in micro-biology and they wait listed him for their Medical School. No longer a fan, he's pulling for the Illini now!
 
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