Loyola Chicago 71, Illinois 58 Postgame

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#551      
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.
i agree, it could be largely due to bad luck or circumstances, but it's not like we were the only Big Team to s*** the bed - you can also point to MSU, OSU, PU and Iowa, so the sample size is a bit larger. What leads me to the conclusion that we were overrated going into the Tourney is: 1) we struggled in the non-con against Tourney caliber opponents - we got trounced by Baylor, beaten by Mizzou and squeaked by Ohio; 2) you look at the NBA caliber talent in the various conferences based on mock drafts, and the Big 10 is not well represented outside of UI and UM. So yeah, we did really well in conference, but maybe those other teams were overrated as well.

We should have beaten Loyola and we probably would win 7 or 8 out of 10 times we played them. but I still think the Big 10 was overrated and our success in conference led us to overestimate how good we were.
 
#552      
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.
Austin Peay will always be it for me. Villanova is a darn close second, because we had that game in the bag and gave it away, and we could have easily gone to the FF with that team. but you are right, we have more than our share of inexplicable losses.
 
#553      
Austin Peay will always be it for me. Villanova is a darn close second, because we had that game in the bag and gave it away, and we could have easily gone to the FF with that team. but you are right, we have more than our share of inexplicable losses.
For me the '84 Rose Bowl is a close second. This year tops Austin Peay because of expectations.

Illinois fans are indeed a snakebit bunch.
 
#554      
Austin Peay will always be it for me. Villanova is a darn close second, because we had that game in the bag and gave it away, and we could have easily gone to the FF with that team. but you are right, we have more than our share of inexplicable losses.
I am not well versed in Illini history. Those are the 2 bad losses that seem to come up the most. Were those games as 1 sided as the Loyola game? We literally never had a lead and they stayed comfortably ahead the entire game. I know Illinois was not a 1 seed for either of those 2 games, but were they Final 4 favorites/contenders? Did Illinois play well in those games and just get beat or did they look as bad as they did against Loyola?
 
#555      
We did not play well. A lot of that was due to Loyola. However we struggled all season when teams forced us into executing in the half court. Few teams could do what Loyola did to us. We would have matches up against any other 8/9 a lot better. We would have ran LSU out of the gym.

If our defense did not generate fast breaks it was hard for this team to win. We had a really good team but it had its weaknesses. We had too many turnovers missed shots that went in all year and our outside shooting was not there.

The 04-05 team went through a Wisconsin team that liked to play in the 50s and played a methodical game. Very few college teams anymore execute like Loyola did in the half court. Plus it did not hurt that they made their shots. We had a final four caliber team but in college basketball upsets happen. I just wished this would have happened last year and Ayo and company could have experienced a tournament run

The biggest difference I see than years past is we have a coaching staff our fans believe in and know how to build a team. The foundation and culture is there
 
#556      
Been an Illini fan since 1989 squad who I thought should had won it all and obviously the 2005 squad should have as well. Not sure what was up with the fouls on James in the Championship game when in fact it didn't affect May's shot or anything.

One thing that bothers me about this year is why they put the only other team in the tournament from the state in the same bracket to play? I mean they would never put Duke and UNC in the same bracket or Kentucky and Louisville if one was a top ranked team and the other an 8th seed. Now had we met in the final 4 or something than that is one thing but to purposely put the only two teams in Illinois in the same bracket isn't right.
 
#557      
Been an Illini fan since 1989 squad who I thought should had won it all and obviously the 2005 squad should have as well. Not sure what was up with the fouls on James in the Championship game when in fact it didn't affect May's shot or anything.

One thing that bothers me about this year is why they put the only other team in the tournament from the state in the same bracket to play? I mean they would never put Duke and UNC in the same bracket or Kentucky and Louisville if one was a top ranked team and the other an 8th seed. Now had we met in the final 4 or something than that is one thing but to purposely put the only two teams in Illinois in the same bracket isn't right.
interesting.

Thinking it is wrong that Texas had to play an in state from Abilene n the FIRST round.....or maybe the filpside that Abilene had to play the Burnt Orange Monster?

Can probably go back historically through the years and find in states from VA, Ky, Ca, Penn, Mi , NY or more similar situations over the years as well. That premise is a bit silly IMHO.
 
#558      
The Last Best Place
For me the '84 Rose Bowl is a close second. This year tops Austin Peay because of expectations.

Illinois fans are indeed a snakebit bunch.
I was at the 84 Rose Bowl. I don't remember us being the favorite. Despite what happened there everybody knew that was the last game of the season. Getting knocked out the first weekend as a 1 seed is such a sudden unexpected early end to our run. No comparison IMO
 
#559      
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.

If Loyola makes the Final Four, will the loss be easier to explain?

For me it already is. Loyola is really good. And we’ve had bad games this year vs teams far worse than them (Rutgers, Mizzou, Northwestern, Nebraska, Ohio). All it took was a stinker game vs a good team and there was a chance we’d be toast.

People get too caught up in the seeding. Loyola was far better than an 8 seed, and we weren’t a dominant 1 seed like you typically see. We played down to our competition many games, and rarely blew anyone out. Most #1 seeds are dominant, and this year really only Gonzaga and Baylor have been that.
 
#560      
The defensive coaching job by Moser is getting a lot of attention. Supposedly he learned a lot of it from Majerus. It certainly was no fluke either. All the data was out there before the game. I'm surprised we had no answer for it. Usually a team makes at least one run in a game. We had no runs at all. Oh well. time to recruit some shooters.....like Podz. Go illini
 
#562      
For me the '84 Rose Bowl is a close second. This year tops Austin Peay because of expectations.

Illinois fans are indeed a snakebit bunch.
See, I tried to block that one out - thanks for bringing it back. That one was worse than the Loyola game for me. Ranked #4 playing an unranked UCLA team and we get smoked. If I remember right, all 3 teams ranked ahead of us lost, so we had a legit claim to the Natty if we win (although they probably would have given it to Miami for beating Nebraska). Going into Sunday's game, I thought there was a reasonable chance we could lose to Loyola. No way in he** did I think we could lose to UCLA, much less lose by 5 TD's.
 
#563      
Since I was dumb enough to open this thread again and relive Sunday, thought I might try and have some fun with it.

How did everyone handle the loss? What did you do after the game? I can laugh about it now.

Me: I threw away my lucky shirt I had posted about a few times this season, along with my Chief Illiniwek phone case. Put my phone on airplane mode and went for a 45 minute walk in the park by myself without telling my fiancé where I was going. Along with not responding to any texts for about 36 hours 😂 overall I handled it better than I thought I would 🙃
 
#564      
If Loyola makes the Final Four, will the loss be easier to explain?

For me it already is. Loyola is really good. And we’ve had bad games this year vs teams far worse than them (Rutgers, Mizzou, Northwestern, Nebraska, Ohio). All it took was a stinker game vs a good team and there was a chance we’d be toast.

People get too caught up in the seeding. Loyola was far better than an 8 seed, and we weren’t a dominant 1 seed like you typically see. We played down to our competition many games, and rarely blew anyone out. Most #1 seeds are dominant, and this year really only Gonzaga and Baylor have been that.
I'm not sure I can answer the top question. I think I'd feel worse if Oregon State beats Loyola this weekend. I think I expect them to make the Final 4 and will always think/know that Illinois is a better team than Loyola despite the game results, so it will hurt regardless. The rest of what you said is definitely true, although I'd say Baylor hasn't been dominant since their Covid pause.

Loyola is definitely a good team. I don't think anyone has disputed that, and I honestly think they should make the Final 4 with the way the region has shaped up. I think Loyola is pretty accurately ranked in the polls, a top 20 team. I don't think they are as good as their Kenpom, or as bad as their seeding, if that make sense. My biggest hangup is it really doesn't matter who you play in the first couple rounds when you're a 1 seed.
 
#565      
Since I was dumb enough to open this thread again and relive Sunday, thought I might try and have some fun with it.

How did everyone handle the loss? What did you do after the game? I can laugh about it now.

Me: I threw away my lucky shirt I had posted about a few times this season, along with my Chief Illiniwek phone case. Put my phone on airplane mode and went for a 45 minute walk in the park by myself without telling my fiancé where I was going. Along with not responding to any texts for about 36 hours 😂 overall I handled it better than I thought I would 🙃
This is a good idea. I basically stopped watching the tournament. I think I've watched like 5 minutes since. Had to start a painting project my wife had on the list a little earlier than I was hoping for lol.
 
#567      
This is a good idea. I basically stopped watching the tournament. I think I've watched like 5 minutes since. Had to start a painting project my wife had on the list a little earlier than I was hoping for lol.
At work Monday someone asked me about the tournament and my response was, “what tournament?”
 
#568      
This is a good idea. I basically stopped watching the tournament. I think I've watched like 5 minutes since. Had to start a painting project my wife had on the list a little earlier than I was hoping for lol.
My wife and I are consuming 3 liter boxes of wine at an alarming rate. Keeps her mind off the honey-do list and mine off the game. :cool:
 
#569      
My wife and I are consuming 3 liter boxes of wine at an alarming rate. Keeps her mind off the honey-do list and mine off the game. :cool:
I must like hurting myself. I have been listening to all the big Illini podcasts while doing the painting. This loss is just so different than really any I have experienced. It just confounding how this team went out like that. Part of me wishes we would've stumbled after the Ayo injury and been like a 3 seed, part of me wants to see Underwood getting ripped to shreds, part of me wants to just watch the rest of the tournament and pretend Illinois had a good showing but just lost to a hot team.
 
#570      
Longtime lurker first time poster. This game and team remind me of Self’s last Illini squad in 2002-03. That team had B10 POY Brian Cook (averaging 20 ppg), some good veteran role players, and some awesome young talent, including Dee, Deron, James, and sophomore Luther Head. They were under seeded as a 4 despite a great year and were a very popular pick to make the Final Four. (Obviously, expectations were higher this year, but there are parallels.) They got bounced by a hot shooting Notre Dame team in the second round. We all know how the next two years went as the young core matured.

At this time, our roster composition is unknown, but say Kofi stays and Curbelo, Hawkins, and Miller make the leap. Presumably the transfer market will allow us to fill in some pieces as well and we will be longer and have better pure shooters. Maybe Hutch is the real deal. Lots of unknowns at this time, but we could be at the beginning of a really nice run that started, as 02-03 did, with a disappointing exit from the dance and the loss of our best player (Cook/Ayo).
 
#571      
This is a good idea. I basically stopped watching the tournament. I think I've watched like 5 minutes since. Had to start a painting project my wife had on the list a little earlier than I was hoping for lol.
Tournament's over for me, too. I've come to accept that we will never win a national title in a revenue sport. Our seasons inevitably end with disappointment, and those rare years that we have high expectations just lead to greater disappointment. I'll try not to care about football or basketball next season, but I'll get sucked in and disappointed again.

Oh, Illini sports. I wish I knew how to quit you.
 
#572      
interesting.

Thinking it is wrong that Texas had to play an in state from Abilene n the FIRST round.....or maybe the filpside that Abilene had to play the Burnt Orange Monster?

Can probably go back historically through the years and find in states from VA, Ky, Ca, Penn, Mi , NY or more similar situations over the years as well. That premise is a bit silly IMHO.
Correct, historically these were truly 'Regionals' so you would always play local teams first. Loyola was under seeded for sure, but even if they were a 5 or 6 seed we really should have beat them.
 
#573      
Correct, historically these were truly 'Regionals' so you would always play local teams first. Loyola was under seeded for sure, but even if they were a 5 or 6 seed we really should have beat them.
If you're the top seed, you're favored against every other team in your region. Honestly, with a #2 national ranking, we'd have been favored against almost every other team in the tournament.

Still have to prepare and play, though.
 
#575      
Not sure if posted before, but great video

Honestly, there are a lot of good shots we got in this video that we just missed. There are also a lot of plays that they took away our primary play and we just died on the rest of the play, no movement. Loyola played a high risk defense and we couldn't take advantage of it. Look at 10:35. Trent is just sitting in the corner with his hands on his knees even. At 10:37 in that video, his man starts cheating up on Ayo. If Trent just cuts back door, that's a layup all day. Similar story the play right after although our spacing is not ideal for a backdoor. 11:14, Ayo should rip through and drive hard with his left shoulder into the defender's left shoulder and draw a foul, get himself some breathing room and force them to loosen up their coverage.

There are also several plays where Ayo just needs to force the issue and force some contact on those high ball screens, or just stop running them...
 
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