Pregame: Illinois vs Rutgers, Saturday, January 11th, 11:00am CT, BTN

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It is very rare for a team to be in both the Top 40 NET (previously RPI) and Top 40 Kenpom and not make the Tournament. Only ~2-5 teams each year fall into that category and they are typically at the tail end of conferences that already got a large number of teams in and it's the teams that racked up too many losses and not enough BIG wins despite the metrics overall liking them.

If Illinois can get 3 wins against Nebraska and Northwestern and finish ~10/10 in conference play it should be enough to make the tournament without too much worrying. 11 wins should remove all doubt even if we drop 1 game to Nebraska/Northwestern (since it would mean 1 more good win).
Is something that happens to 2-5 teams each year very rare? That actually seems startlingly common to me given the small group of teams you're talking about.
 
We need to beat Rutgers. While they certainly have improved and won 6 straight i believe all of the games were at home with the exception of Nebraska with 2 of the games being out of conference. I still dont view Rutgets as top half team. Their schedule has been very faovorable and is about to change starting with the Illini! If we can will more road games than we lose home games we should be good to go and i hope we done lose any home games like back in the day.
 
Likes: mikraso
Winged Warrior
I can neither confirm or deny that I have taken myself off of trips/work just to stay home and watch Illini basketball/football this year.

We've lost each time I may or may not have done that.

Tomorrow I have a trip and I'm going to work. Unless the weather has different ideas.

#teamplayerbutnotliterallyontheteamjustpartofthewholeteam

 
Off with my head: don't capitalize royals. I'm a colonial and proud of it.
I can neither confirm or deny that I have taken myself off of trips/work just to stay home and watch Illini basketball/football this year.

We've lost each time I may or may not have done that.

Tomorrow I have a trip and I'm going to work. Unless the weather has different ideas.

#teamplayerbutnotliterallyontheteamjustpartofthewholeteam

I think this phenomenon has been presented before, in prior seasons, That we tend to play better when you are out for work.
As a team player, why do you ever even tempt fate, , , , take the extra trips! Wasn't there also a benefit when you were on schedule with a certain flight attendant who is an alum?
 
Likes: skyIdub
I learned last season that there isn’t really a single must win game when you’re on the bubble. I followed the bubble closely last year, and all of the teams continue to lose. The P5 bubble teams just aren’t good enough to run these long winning streaks against their conferences.

To get confidently off the bubble this Rutgers game is a must win to stay on that path. This game will not be a bad loss should they lose.
 
With a big step forward as a program last night.....we have to be honest.....if it truly was the step forward that it should be then Rutgers @ home HAS to be a W.

Period. No excuses. I don't care how tough Rutgers is playing....a home loss here is as much a step back for the program as the Wisky road W was forward.


The only way is forward now.
Yeah that's not how it works. You don't have a few good wins then all of a sudden never play a bad basketball game again. This conference is too good to demand a win against anyone, home or away. We could very well lose to Rutgers but then go on to win 4 of the next 5. Who knows, this conference is unpredictable.
 
Likes: ILLHangOut
Winged Warrior
Yeah that's not how it works. You don't have a few good wins then all of a sudden never play a bad basketball game again. This conference is too good to demand a win against anyone, home or away. We could very well lose to Rutgers but then go on to win 4 of the next 5. Who knows, this conference is unpredictable.
I don't disagree when looking at it within the context of this season. I'm not trying to take away from Rutgers and their success this year either. They were picked in the bottom three of the B1G pre season and are playing much better than that.

Ours is a rebuild from the bottom of the pit and if we are turning the corner as a program.....we beat Rutgers at home. BU talks about our identity and changing the culture....part of that is penciling in home wins against all but the cream of the B1G....and even those should be winnable and close.

Of course your scenario is reasonable and I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just looking at where this program is and how it turns the corner. I really believe that this is a game...following a defining emotional road win...where you underline that definition.
 
Likes: ILLHangOut
Winged Warrior
I think this phenomenon has been presented before, in prior seasons, That we tend to play better when you are out for work.
As a team player, why do you ever even tempt fate, , , , take the extra trips! Wasn't there also a benefit when you were on schedule with a certain flight attendant who is an alum?
I wanna watch!! I refuse to shell out more money to Crapcast Junkfinity for DVR.


Also...

 
South Carolina
I believe Vegas has it right. I'm thinking we hold a 4-8 point lead most of the 2nd half and end up winning by 5. Rutgers is better, but they're not going to finish in the Top 5 of the Big 10 this year. This game won't be a buzzer-beater. HOLD HOME COURT ADVANTAGE, AND WE MOVE INTO 2ND PLACE IN THE CONFERENCE.

ILL 68
RUT 63
 
I believe Vegas has it right. I'm thinking we hold a 4-8 point lead most of the 2nd half and end up winning by 5. Rutgers is better, but they're not going to finish in the Top 5 of the Big 10 this year. This game won't be a buzzer-beater. HOLD HOME COURT ADVANTAGE, AND WE MOVE INTO 2ND PLACE IN THE CONFERENCE.

ILL 68
RUT 63
The opening Vegas line was also -5.5. Rutger's loss of Geo Baker was probably worth a couple of points.
 
Was at the game last year. Took everything we had to beat them. I imagine they've had this game circled since before the year began both as a great opportunity for a road win and also as a revenge game. We have to come ready to play

Looking at their roster I think Harper Jr will give us the most problems. We don't have anyone that can match up well with 6'6 245. Having Baker out helps us. Really like his game. Hope we continue to run effective screen/rolls with Kofi and Ayo and need to knock down some shots. Go Illini!
Kipper Nichols? Tevian Jones? Olademji?
 
I graduated in '89 and was a section leader for Orange Crush. It was a magical season that I will always remember! One of my favorite memories aside from all of the wins was when Jud Heathcoate (MS coach before Izzo) went crazy after a call, grabbed the ball, slammed it down and it came right back up and popped him in the mouth ... hysterical! While I am still a die hard fan, I live in Colorado and I am sad to say that I have not been back to U of I since graduation. I will be joining 4 Illini alums and life-long friends at the game on Saturday. I plan on bringing whatever Flyin' Illini mojo I can with me. To be honest, I think AG is starting to look like he might fit on that team ... off the bench obviously. Would've been fun to see him and Battle go at it in practice! So excited to see the campus, the stadium and an Illini victory! :shield:
I remember that Heathcoate moment. Ball slammed him squarely in the face. Hilarity.
 
Illini Basketball Fan Forever
Bay Area, CA
I think there will be at least a few of us tuning in for this one. Need to defend the home court, but not sure how good is Rutgers.
 
My memory may be faulty, but as I recall it the Jud Heathcote incident was after a critical turnover by State. In my memory, it was an errant pass that went out of bounds into the State bench (State was on offense right in front of the State bench) and Heathcote grabbed the ball and slammed it into the court with both hands and it rebounded and hit him in the face. Well, at least that's how I recall it.
 
Likes: Joel Goodson
South Carolina
This game has me really nervous. So much so that I’ll be streaming it on my phone while in surgery today. Go Illini!
Hope the surgeons treat you well. Good luck with the procedure! Surprised the Dr. will let you bring electronics into the Operating Room.
 
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