Loyola Chicago 71, Illinois 58 Postgame

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#526      
Birmingham, AL
I just read an article about how Kofi is getting racist messages over social media. Breaks my heart for him. Some people are just too invested in the most negative way possible, though I sincerely hope these are not coming from Illini fans.
He posted one. Some kid from Iowa.
 
#527      
Probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I ascribe most of the struggles by the B1G to random luck applied to a small sample size. Just like you can, but usually don't, see ten coin flips in a row come up tails, I think it's probable that we just saw a bunch of good teams have bad games in a context where a bad game ends your season. The league might have been overrated to some extent but I don't see all seven (ok, eight, we'll count MSU) of the teams that made it getting knocked out where they did if the tournament were best of seven. The '96 Bulls had five of their ten regular season losses come against teams that won 42 games or fewer, for context, including back-to-back losses against the Nuggets and Suns. It just happens sometimes.

(Also, I take back what I said above about getting tails ten times in a row. You'd expect it, because tails never fails.)
This will be even more unpopular - based on talent levels the Big 10 was vastly overrated this year. There are very few NBA caliber players on Big 10 rosters this year. You have Ayo, maybe Kofi, maybe Garza, maybe Liddell, maybe Wagner and Livers, maybe Wiggins, maybe Davis - who else is there? When you don't have overwhelming talent you are much more susceptible to being upset.
 
#528      
This will be even more unpopular - based on talent levels the Big 10 was vastly overrated this year. There are very few NBA caliber players on Big 10 rosters this year. You have Ayo, maybe Kofi, maybe Garza, maybe Liddell, maybe Wagner and Livers, maybe Wiggins, maybe Davis - who else is there? When you don't have overwhelming talent you are much more susceptible to being upset.
Tough to get out of the round of 32 with only two All Americans.

This loss has me feeling cynical.
 
#530      
Tough to get out of the round of 32 with only two All Americans.

This loss has me feeling cynical.
Not saying we shouldn't have won - we should have. However, I think we have overestimated our talent in particular and the Big 10's talent in general. Realistically, Ayo is a low first rounder and Kofi is a low second rounder if that. Overall, our talent level was probably 3rd or 4th best in our region - definitely lower than Ok state and TN, probably lower than Houston. The rest of the Big 10 doesn't have much NBA caliber talent, which would have led us to overestimate our own talent level.

Compare our roster this year with 2005 or the late 80's - it's not even close in terms of talent. 2001/2002 is a closer match, but the current team falls short IMO
 
#532      
Not saying we shouldn't have won - we should have. However, I think we have overestimated our talent in particular and the Big 10's talent in general. Realistically, Ayo is a low first rounder and Kofi is a low second rounder if that. Overall, our talent level was probably 3rd or 4th best in our region - definitely lower than Ok state and TN, probably lower than Houston. The rest of the Big 10 doesn't have much NBA caliber talent, which would have led us to overestimate our own talent level.

Compare our roster this year with 2005 or the late 80's - it's not even close in terms of talent. 2001/2002 is a closer match, but the current team falls short IMO
I have to admit that I expected a wide range of post hoc reasoning to explain the outcome of this game, but "our two All-Americans along with the whole Big Ten actually suck" was not on my bingo card.
 
#533      
I have to admit that I expected a wide range of post hoc reasoning to explain the outcome of this game, but "our two All-Americans along with the whole Big Ten actually suck" was not on my bingo card.
How do you explain 8 of 9 Big 10 teams out before the Sweet 16, 6 to lower seeds with several getting blown out? Travel problems (oh wait, the entire tourney was in Indiana), bad seeding, alien invasion? It's pretty obvious the Big 10 as a whole wasn't nearly as good as advertised. That should have been apparent when Illinois struggled against the OOC teams that made the tourney, but I guess some things are only obvious in hindsight.
 
#534      
How do you explain 8 of 9 Big 10 teams out before the Sweet 16, 6 to lower seeds with several getting blown out? Travel problems (oh wait, the entire tourney was in Indiana), bad seeding, alien invasion? It's pretty obvious the Big 10 as a whole wasn't nearly as good as advertised. That should have been apparent when Illinois struggled against the OOC teams that made the tourney, but I guess some things are only obvious in hindsight.
I guess I'll attempt this. Not that I necessarily agree 1 way or the other. I think the B1G was good and deep, but Illinois and Michigan were the "great" teams, OSU and Iowa were the "good" teams, and the rest were just above average teams.

Iowa's clear weakness was athleticism and defense and Oregon exploited those.
OSU was extremely dependent on Liddell and inconsistent around him. Also losing Young was a big blow.
Purdue was young and probably not as good as their B1G performance said they were.
Maryland and Rutgers were lower seeds that won as many games as Illinois in the tournament. Rutgers should still be playing.
MSU, I don't know, were super inconsistent and lost their game against UCLA as much as UCLA won it.

OSU was the biggest upset but really for them, Iowa, and Purdue, the ingredients were there for those loses.

I still stand by my thought that the Illinois loss was the most disappointing and unacceptable of any B1G loss, and maybe any of the tournament. Superior talent but just didn't show up for whatever reason.
 
#535      
I re-watched the entire game carefully last night. We just played so uncharacteristically. The turn-overs were odd and I counted 19 points we missed. I didn't count any missed jump shots or free throws, only shots that we make 90% of the time. Ayo and Trent both had at least two layups that they have made all season long that just roll off the rim. Kofi missed three easy dunks/layups throughout the game and there were three other shots by various players that did everything but go through the net. Then if they just made a few of those missed open jump shots we would've won by double digits. Also, some say our effort was off or our game plan was bad, but to me the effort was good enough, it was more execution. (Kofi did get tired in 2nd half). I feel Loyola played a perfect game for them. I doubt they can do it again and my bet is they lose in the Elite 8. That being said, they have a great coach and are are really good. Might win Saturday but that's where it ends IMO. If we played them again we would win.
 
#536      
How do you explain 8 of 9 Big 10 teams out before the Sweet 16, 6 to lower seeds with several getting blown out? Travel problems (oh wait, the entire tourney was in Indiana), bad seeding, alien invasion? It's pretty obvious the Big 10 as a whole wasn't nearly as good as advertised. That should have been apparent when Illinois struggled against the OOC teams that made the tourney, but I guess some things are only obvious in hindsight.
Since you asked, slippery new balls that impact the type of play that is prevalent in the B1G. An adjustment to how other officials call games. An exhausting B1G Tournament. See how Ohio played after their big upset.
 
#537      
St Paul, MN
Exactly. I watched him coach in Redbird Arena, and he was not good. Seems to have hit his stride, though.
Seems like he hit his stride about the same time a chubby under recruited kid named Krutwig arrived on campus.
 
#538      
I guess I'll attempt this. Not that I necessarily agree 1 way or the other. I think the B1G was good and deep, but Illinois and Michigan were the "great" teams, OSU and Iowa were the "good" teams, and the rest were just above average teams.

Iowa's clear weakness was athleticism and defense and Oregon exploited those.
OSU was extremely dependent on Liddell and inconsistent around him. Also losing Young was a big blow.
Purdue was young and probably not as good as their B1G performance said they were.
Maryland and Rutgers were lower seeds that won as many games as Illinois in the tournament. Rutgers should still be playing.
MSU, I don't know, were super inconsistent and lost their game against UCLA as much as UCLA won it.

OSU was the biggest upset but really for them, Iowa, and Purdue, the ingredients were there for those loses.

I still stand by my thought that the Illinois loss was the most disappointing and unacceptable of any B1G loss, and maybe any of the tournament. Superior talent but just didn't show up for whatever reason.
100% agree with you. I am still shell shocked/in complete disbelief we went out like that.
 
#539      
How do you explain 8 of 9 Big 10 teams out before the Sweet 16, 6 to lower seeds with several getting blown out? Travel problems (oh wait, the entire tourney was in Indiana), bad seeding, alien invasion? It's pretty obvious the Big 10 as a whole wasn't nearly as good as advertised. That should have been apparent when Illinois struggled against the OOC teams that made the tourney, but I guess some things are only obvious in hindsight.

Well, to be fair, I have already offered an explanation:

Probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I ascribe most of the struggles by the B1G to random luck applied to a small sample size. Just like you can, but usually don't, see ten coin flips in a row come up tails, I think it's probable that we just saw a bunch of good teams have bad games in a context where a bad game ends your season. The league might have been overrated to some extent but I don't see all seven (ok, eight, we'll count MSU) of the teams that made it getting knocked out where they did if the tournament were best of seven.

To put it more concretely, say you watched a basketball team for four days and they did this:

L 99-105 vs. Team A (19-26)
L 96-106 vs. Team B (21-24)
W 99-95 vs. Team C (21-26)

If that was all you ever had the opportunity to see that team do, you probably wouldn't think too much of them. Maybe "wow, that 33 has freakish athleticism but he can't throw the ball in the ocean" or "looks like 23 was pissed for the whole game, he must have an attitude problem" or "what's up with the hair on 91, and why isn't he doing anything other than rebounding?" But you'd actually be watching the best basketball team in human history, the 1996 Bulls.

The tournament is largely how we judge a team's failure or success, but that doesn't mean that you can learn more about a team's body of work over those one to six tournament games than you learned in the 35 games that preceded it. If you were an NBA exec, or a college coach, or an AD, or a professional gambler, you'd not get very far if you took that approach. (However, if you were a sportswriter, you'd just be doing your job.)

It's not that there's no merit in looking at a single game and wondering why it's telling you something different than the games that came before. But it's only a very small piece of the puzzle.
 
#540      
Well, to be fair, I have already offered an explanation:



To put it more concretely, say you watched a basketball team for four days and they did this:

L 99-105 vs. Team A (19-26)
L 96-106 vs. Team B (21-24)
W 99-95 vs. Team C (21-26)

If that was all you ever had the opportunity to see that team do, you probably wouldn't think too much of them. Maybe "wow, that 33 has freakish athleticism but he can't throw the ball in the ocean" or "looks like 23 was pissed for the whole game, he must have an attitude problem" or "what's up with the hair on 91, and why isn't he doing anything other than rebounding?" But you'd actually be watching the best basketball team in human history, the 1996 Bulls.

The tournament is largely how we judge a team's failure or success, but that doesn't mean that you can learn more about a team's body of work over those one to six tournament games than you learned in the 35 games that preceded it. If you were an NBA exec, or a college coach, or an AD, or a professional gambler, you'd not get very far if you took that approach. (However, if you were a sportswriter, you'd just be doing your job.)

It's not that there's no merit in looking at a single game and wondering why it's telling you something different than the games that came before. But it's only a very small piece of the puzzle.
FWIW, I think you could both be right, but I'm just not sure how to gauge the extent of how much of the Big 10's 8 losses were due to not being as good as expected, and how much was due to bad luck in a one game elimination setting. Since the hypothetical best of seven game series proposed will never be played, it's hard to get a handle on.

Reminds me of the old saying, "It's better to be lucky than good."
 
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#541      
100% agree with you. I am still shell shocked/in complete disbelief we went out like that.
I arrived on campus in 1980 and have been a fan ever since, so I'm no stranger to inexplicable, embarrassing losses for Fighting Illini sports. This one has, however, rocketed into first place as the most baffling bed-pooping in my 40-plus years of fandom.

I know I should be able to take some pleasure in memories of the rest of the season, but it's, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

The only thing that will get this taste out of my mouth will be a deep run in next year's NCAAT. Please come back, Kofi.
 
#542      
I arrived on campus in 1980 and have been a fan ever since, so I'm no stranger to inexplicable, embarrassing losses for Fighting Illini sports. This one has, however, rocketed into first place as the most baffling bed-pooping in my 40-plus years of fandom.

I know I should be able to take some pleasure in memories of the rest of the season, but it's, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

The only thing that will get this taste out of my mouth will be a deep run in next year's NCAAT. Please come back, Kofi.
I am a good bit younger than you. Started at U of I in 04, so right in time for the 05 team. I started casually following them as a young fan during the Kruger years, and got way more into it in the Self years. I still remember ordering an orange Frank Williams jersey. This loss was just so impossible to rationalize or explain away. Illinois historically doesn't really beat higher seeds in the tournament, but they also rarely get upset like this, and never get upset like this as a 1 seed. Every other Illinois 1 seed made it to at least the Elite 8. Maybe this is harsh but that loss really puts a stain on this season. 1st weekend? Come on now. The opponent honestly barely even plays into it. Switch Loyola with LSU/Wisconsin/Oklahoma and I'd feel the same way.
 
#543      
The last few times we reached this level in basketball, something derailed it and set us back. I think that’s why we are all nervous.

after 89 the probation and all that BS

after 01 Kruger left when he had things feeling kinda like they do right now

after 03 Self left and used his Illinois recruiting connections against us

Weber’s final 2 years were an embarrassment compounded by the aforementioned point about self and recruiting

Let’s hope a loss to Loyola won’t derail the momentum we’ve had going.
 
#544      
Paducah, Ky
He posted one. Some kid from Iowa.
download (49).jpg
Aahhha....caught in the act !!!!!!!.............little Bo peeps........

free-animated-gifs-of-confused-travolta-john-travolta-pulp-fiction-jurassic-park.gif
NOOOOO...not BoHana**Raptor........
 
#545      
I am a good bit younger than you. Started at U of I in 04, so right in time for the 05 team. I started casually following them as a young fan during the Kruger years, and got way more into it in the Self years. I still remember ordering an orange Frank Williams jersey. This loss was just so impossible to rationalize or explain away. Illinois historically doesn't really beat higher seeds in the tournament, but they also rarely get upset like this, and never get upset like this as a 1 seed. Every other Illinois 1 seed made it to at least the Elite 8. Maybe this is harsh but that loss really puts a stain on this season. 1st weekend? Come on now. The opponent honestly barely even plays into it. Switch Loyola with LSU/Wisconsin/Oklahoma and I'd feel the same way.
I agree with you until your last two sentences. Rolling over for a mid-major is worse. Rolling over for an in-state mid-major is worse still.
 
#546      
I agree with you until your last two sentences. Rolling over for a mid-major is worse. Rolling over for an in-state mid-major is worse still.
Yeah I can see that. The Loyola thing is weird though. Because a lot of people are making the argument that they were underseeded, thus we played a better team than we should have. But then you can make the opposite argument, and say we played a mid-major with no notable wins all year and didn't have to play against a talented P5 team like an athletic LSU or a tough experienced Wisconsin.
 
#547      
I arrived on campus in 1980 and have been a fan ever since, so I'm no stranger to inexplicable, embarrassing losses for Fighting Illini sports. This one has, however, rocketed into first place as the most baffling bed-pooping in my 40-plus years of fandom.

I know I should be able to take some pleasure in memories of the rest of the season, but it's, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

The only thing that will get this taste out of my mouth will be a deep run in next year's NCAAT. Please come back, Kofi.
I am going to borrow your Mrs. Lincoln saying to use in the future because that was a perfect reflection of my own sentiments regarding the season. My first year at UIUC was 2011, but I grew up going to Ron Zook football camps and was at the Rose Bowl when USC trounced us, which was expected by many. Somehow, it actually helps to know that this is perceived as the most epic disappointment by older fans too. Thanks for sharing.
 
#548      
Yeah I can see that. The Loyola thing is weird though. Because a lot of people are making the argument that they were underseeded, thus we played a better team than we should have. But then you can make the opposite argument, and say we played a mid-major with no notable wins all year and didn't have to play against a talented P5 team like an athletic LSU or a tough experienced Wisconsin.
Illinois was ranked #2 in the country and seeded #1. The idea that catching Loyola in the 2nd round was somehow screwing us makes no sense. First is the ultimate protected seed. We'd have been favored in every game until the Final Four, had we made it that far. What difference does it make which day you play lower seeds?

I'm also not on board with the narrative that Loyola is some unstoppable juggernaut, and Moser is a basketball genius. I'm prepared to eat crow should they win the whole thing.
 
#549      
Illinois was ranked #2 in the country and seeded #1. The idea that catching Loyola in the 2nd round was somehow screwing us makes no sense. First is the ultimate protected seed. We'd have been favored in every game until the Final Four, had we made it that far. What difference does it make which day you play lower seeds?

I'm also not on board with the narrative that Loyola is some unstoppable juggernaut, and Moser is a basketball genius. I'm prepared to eat crow should they win the whole thing.
I agree with all of this. I'm just saying that the Loyola narrative meant very little to me. I don't care if they were underseeded or overseeded. I don't care what round we played them in. We still should have easily beat them. I understood both sides of their seeding argument. They lost to Wisconsin, their only premier opponent and another 8/9 seed. They split with Drake, the only other tourney team they played. The others on the 8/9 line were GT, UNC, LSU, Mizzou, OU. I don't think Loyola would've even been my scariest 8/9 matchup.
 
#550      
I agree with all of this. I'm just saying that the Loyola narrative meant very little to me. I don't care if they were underseeded or overseeded. I don't care what round we played them in. We still should have easily beat them. I understood both sides of their seeding argument. They lost to Wisconsin, their only premier opponent and another 8/9 seed. They split with Drake, the only other tourney team they played. The others on the 8/9 line were GT, UNC, LSU, Mizzou, OU. I don't think Loyola would've even been my scariest 8/9 matchup.
Yes. I'm not sure I could have survived getting knocked out by Mizzou!
 
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