I agree 100%, but that's hardly the sole reason we lost.
Almost got into a fight exiting the AH. A couple of dipshits were spoiling for a fight, doing their best to goad us into a rumble because we weren't being respectful of how pissed off they were. I'm confident that they've since been handed a beatdown or else a trip to the drunk tank.
I don't agree that we got hosed by the refs. True I wasn't too thrilled when Powell was hacked 8 times in 5 seconds during that sequence in the 1st half. But when we were on our comeback late in the 2nd half, there were a number of calls (and no-calls) that went our way that UNC wasn't too thrilled about.
Fact of the matter is we had many, many golden opportunities to tie or take the lead in the last 2:00 of the contest and failed to convert. When they hit only 1 FT with 30 seconds to go giving us the ball with a 3-point deficit, what more can you ask.
We were fighting and they were reeling, but we couldn't burry the long shots and their initial burst was enough, and they are a very good team.
how are all of you handling this? where did you watch the game and what was it like for you?
Watched it at my apartment, running back to the computer to update during the extensive commercial breaks, after the game I was disappointed and sat in silence for a bit waiting for Bruce to be interviewed. Bruce's post-game interview was tremendous, I can't do justice to what he said about the team and the season.
I'm relaxed now and over the dissapointment, although ready to crash because I've been hopped up on adrenalin all day.
I unknowingly sparked the situation by muttering to our group (me, El Wifo, ExileOnJerkStreet, his main squeeze, and another character) "Hey, anyone feel like going rioting?" on our way past the little yard by the closest parking lot. Toughguy #1 suggested that I F off, which EOJS parroted back to me. That engendered all of the macho bullshit.
Nothing more than a couple of wannabe meatheads trying to act like they were the only people who truly understood the gravity of our loss. They were beyond logic and common courtesy, and were just itching to get into a fight of some sort. I was tempted to beat the tar (haha) out of a bunch of kids (8 or 10) who were mostly wearing orange, but were chanting about how UNC is #1, haha you lost, etc., (or at least shoot a couple of bottlerockets at them) but getting into a knock-down, drag out fight with a couple of decent sized, fired up college kids was the last thing I wanted or needed at the time. These two wouldn't have gone down quietly, (if we could have kicked their asses anyway) and the first thing I had in mind to do was burn the first guy with my cigarette if possible, and smash the other guy in the face with my BarNoculars, but that would have only riled them up further, and probably vault us into the role of Bad Guy, at least from Johnny Law's perspective...
Anyway, just a couple of ornery idiot drunk college kids who are undoubtedly cutting their teeth on their first Illinois NCAA loss after passionately hopping on the bandwagon. A lot of misplaced teenage angst along the lines of how we 'just didn't understand' and 'we're pissed, man'. EOJS almost tried to point out how the three of us (the males at least) have each been going through this longer than those kids had been alive, but didn't bother to complete the sentiment when it became clear that they were utterly beyond reason.
The attendance was 12,234 at the AH. More than a few people around us doing homework, or at least trying to. Some schmuck behind us kept muttering 'down in front' at the beginning of the game. I felt like there was a remarkable presence of people who hadn't watched much of the tournament, as the same commercials that all of us here could recite by heart after these past few weeks were still drawing giggles and commentary throughout, as if they hadn't wilted and died of overexposure during the past few weeks.
Here's a couple of (probably identical) pictures from my crappy cameraphone of the early crowd, and then one taken later when it had filled a little more. Note the presence of the labyrinthine Home & Garden Expo booths dominating the floor...
Hosed? not really, bad calls? yes, but for both sides. Sad? of course. But it's only a game. So on with our lives (they have been on hold lately) there is always next year and maybe now more will stay for another try at a Championship, maybe! We can hope.
Yell loud today at the rally. I hope the whole town is there.
PS: How do you defend him? Hard to when he gets to play NBA ball.
I felt like there was a remarkable presence of people who hadn't watched much of the tournament, as the same commercials that all of us here could recite by heart after these past few weeks were still drawing giggles and commentary throughout, as if they hadn't wilted and died of overexposure during the past few weeks.
CBS doesn't even pretend not to try to beat the audence into submission with the commerical overload. Not that that nonesense has any affect, I mean I was going to get that credit card, binge on booze, and lease that car anyways, but I just think it takes a little something away from the natural flow of the game.
I loved the season and the memories-tried to convey that on my web page: http://ourworld.cs.com/goteam764493422 I think the 3 things, noted on the web page, making for a good entertaining game, may have come short concerning the fair and sound judgement calls. I also agree was not the only short fall. Two good teams "playing, desiring, fighting" to win, could not have been better. This year's basketball season is at an end, but now it is spring and "yard and garden season" to be enjoyed-though not sure any more enjoyable than the "Illini's season"!
Though disappointed, I couldn't be more proud of this team. I only wish that the seniors and everyone else on the team could have cut down the next to make their dreams come true.
To the fans, this was incredible and we can't wait to see what the Fighting Illini have in store for us next year. Augie, Dee, Brock, Pruitt, Carter, McBride, Arnold, and everyone else will continue to take the Illini to the elite status that they deserve. Congrats to the 2004-2005 Fighting Illini
-It would be REALLY great to see Augie put on about 15 lbs. of muscle...maybe he should contact Bar'roid Bonds about this!
Seriously, it is time he hit the weight room a bit. With his touch, and the ability to handle the ball, a couple of extra hours lifting-along with a few hundred 15-20' jump shots a day- would make him a top 10 college player.
Augie isn't that far out of the top ten now.
He's just got to toughen up a bit. He made Sean May look like Patrick Ewing (Sr., not Jr.!).
Just gotta let it be known that I really like the guy and have supported him. He was, and is, an integral part of this team.
Regardless, WHAT AN AMAZING SEASON!!! As much as I loved the "Flyin' Illini" this bunch had, and has, a ton more heart than the '89 squad.
Still, wouldn't mind seeing Deron come back!
Maybe we could start a petition!!!
-Augie is sssoooo close, you know!
He, most definitely has all the talent it takes to be THE "go to" guy for the team.
If he gets the upper body strength and balances out his game so that he can face up and shoot, along with his back to the basket game...that is the serious makings of a top ten, or even lottery pick after next season.
Ya' gotta love the guy!
I would love to see Deron come back also, but if he doesn't, we do have some bench guys (Warren, McBride) that if worked with and built up could fill the guard shoes. They, along with Augie, need to hit the weights, and get faster on the court.
I can't ever complain about the refs, we made some bad decisions and still overcame them to make one hell of a game out there.
I am still only slightly recovered....but I couldn't be more proud of the team this year
one question for the game though....for a small spell, and for defensive/body/foul purposes....I would have liked to see Shaun Pruitt in the game for a few minutes....he might have been able to hold position a little more, and maybe held some D on May for a few small stretchs
BUT....can't go through life second guessing things
ON TO INDY 06!!!!
Wish we would have had C-Jack one season early, next year WE CLEAR the paint
Augie definetly does need to bulk up and I think he will use this loss as a motivation to win big next year. I'm looking for Weber to have Carter work the entire summer on defense, the kid is amazing . . . just can't play D. And can we get some confidence for McBride and Randle?
This offseason, I feel, Weber will work these guys hard and with the national media already dissing the 2005-2006 Illini, look for a big year!
-Don't forget, Marcus Arnold next year also!!! That is a guy that has "superstar" written all over him. I can't wait to see Marcus in Illini Orange!!!
Augie and Dee, Arnold, Pruitt, Randle, Rich, Warren, Calvin Brock...and the "ever so slight" chance that Deron would stay another year. That already makes the lineup possibilities incredible!!!
I know I want Deron to stay, I just think that with his defensive performance alone he played himself into a higher draft choice than Stoudemire, Garcia...or any other guards that were talked about more than him all season long.
I live in L.A. and haven't heard much about the new recruits...would any of you mind telling me about the new guys, please? (I have to hear FAR too much about the Pac(ifist)-10!...ugh...)
-Next year, barring injury and well, arrests and the like, the Big Ten could have as many as seven teams in the tourney.
The ACC fans have to remember this...they are a blown travelling call away from not having anyone in the Final Four.
definitely some good things to look forward to next year. I agree randle and mcbride with some confidence and off season conditrioning and training could be huge for us next year, as well as arnold. the guy is a beast. Pruitt should stack up very well, augustine will be ready. I am very interested to see Brock out on the floor.