Pregame: Illinois at Wisconsin, Saturday, February 27th, 1:00pm CT, ESPN

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#1      
Admin
Illinois at Wisconsin
Saturday, February 27th
1:00pm CT
ESPN
 
#3      
Aurora, IL
So let's win this one, eh? Stop their 3 point shooters like the last time. It can be done.
 
#6      
Aurora, IL
So let's win this one, eh? Stop their 3 point shooters like the last time. It can be done.
 
#7      
Hope to have Ayo back
He had a little bit of a black eye but the swelling seems to have gone down a bunch according to the announcers today.
I guess what really matters is what actually was broken, but surely swelling going down so quick is a good sign, I hope. BU was a little cagey talking about it.
OTOH I think we can beat WI without him if we get effort like we saw today.
 
#10      
After watching BU’s postgame press conference, I would bet my and several of the board’s beach houses that Ayo does not play against Wisky — and wouldn’t surprise me if BTT is the soonest we see him back. Illini can definitely win Saturday. Not gonna be easy, but if they play the whole game Saturday with the same defensive intensity that we saw in the first half tonight they will win. D wasn’t as good in second half, but still had good energy and hustle.
 
#11      
I think we lose by 10+. I don’t WANT that...but 3 games in 5 days, starting with that insanely physical one, plus the emotional rollercoaster of losing Ayo makes me think we will be emotionally spent.

There is always a chance...we still have Kofi and they didn’t seem interested in guarding him last time. And if we see good Andre and good Ace, all bets are off.

But I can’t shake the feeling we will be down 6 with a minute left, will have to start fouling and end up losing by 10 or a little more.

Damn you MSU.
 
#13      
Winged Warrior
After watching BU’s postgame press conference, I would bet my and several of the board’s beach houses that Ayo does not play against Wisky — and wouldn’t surprise me if BTT is the soonest we see him back. Illini can definitely win Saturday. Not gonna be easy, but if they play the whole game Saturday with the same defensive intensity that we saw in the first half tonight they will win. D wasn’t as good in second half, but still had good energy and hustle.

I see your beach house and raise you some awesome undeveloped ocean front property that if Ayo is cleared by Dr.....there is NO WAY you keep him out of the scUM game.
 
#14      
I see your beach house and raise you some awesome undeveloped ocean front property that if Ayo is cleared by Dr.....there is NO WAY you keep him out of the scUM game.
If he is cleared of course he’ll play. I just have the feeling the way they’re talking — or more accurately what isn’t being said —that this could be more than a one or two game situation. Hopefully they’re just playing things close to the vest, and he’s back for last two games. But like I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if that isn’t the case.
 
#15      
I’m thinking IF we can hold Wisconsin the less than 70 points, out rebound them and make 18 free throws. We win even if Ayo doesn’t play. Prediction: Ill 75 and Wisc 69.
 
#16      
North Bethesda, Maryland
In the best of all worlds, Ayo does not need to play for us to beat Wisky, and is available for the last two. If he’s not, can we claim his black eye is a possible symptom of COVID and skip all games until the Final Four? Let’s ask scUM who you have to talk to.
 
#17      
Decatur, IL
Yes we all want Ayo back ASAP. That being said this stretch without him could make us a much better overall team once he comes back. Curbelo and Miller being thrown in the fire so to speak in a clutch time of the season is gonna make them grow up quick here in the next couple games. We are getting a glimpse of how the team is gonna look next year and I think they looked pretty good last night.
 
#18      
Yes we all want Ayo back ASAP. That being said this stretch without him could make us a much better overall team once he comes back. Curbelo and Miller being thrown in the fire so to speak in a clutch time of the season is gonna make them grow up quick here in the next couple games. We are getting a glimpse of how the team is gonna look next year and I think they looked pretty good last night.

I agree, but I desperately hope that said stretch is only for the game at Wisconsin and that Ayo can have his heroic return for two massive road wins to close out the season and get us a top seed.
 
#19      
We match up really well with this Wisconsin team. We are more athletic across the board and Reuvers and Potter have no interest in hanging with Kofi. Play good 3 point defense and Illinois should be able to win this game.
 
#20      
I think this team is actually solid even without Ayo IF Curbelo can control the turnovers and IF we can make free throws.
 
#21      
Yes the third game in a 6 day stretch worries me some. Trent needs to shut down Trice and feed Kofi the ball. Hopefully Curbello will slice and dice them and Ace stays aggressive
 
#22      
Yes the third game in a 6 day stretch worries me some. Trent needs to shut down Trice and feed Kofi the ball. Hopefully Curbello will slice and dice them and Ace stays aggressive
3 games in 5 days. Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.

It would be so fitting if the extra game we squeezed it gives us a 1/2 game lead and a BT Championship over ScuM at the end of the season.
 
#23      
I think this team is actually solid even without Ayo IF Curbelo can control the turnovers and IF we can make free throws.
The key for us is Curbelo. One disadvantage we have is Wisconsin is a disciplined team and Curbelo at times struggles with being disciplined and easily the worst game of his career against Wisconsin. However, if he plays under control, we will be fine.
 
#24      
If he is cleared of course he’ll play. I just have the feeling the way they’re talking — or more accurately what isn’t being said —that this could be more than a one or two game situation. Hopefully they’re just playing things close to the vest, and he’s back for last two games. But like I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if that isn’t the case.
He’ll play against Michigan unless it was a concussion.
 
#25      
The almighty BTT Bracket Generator has made its return, and I was playing around with it. I predicted the other remaining games a tad differently than the website did, with the exceptions below:

- Minnesota losing at Nebraska (that ship is sinking!)
- Michigan State winning at Maryland (the hackers are on a roll)
- Minnesota beating Rutgers at home (they're kind of schizo)

Given those predictions (which you can obviously change if you mess around with the site), these are our possible BTT draws based on how we finish the season.

0-3: #4 seed playing the winner of #5 Iowa and #12 Penn State/#13 Northwestern

1-2 (beat WISC): #3 seed playing the winner of #6 Wisconsin and #11 Indiana/#14 Nebraska
1-2 (beat MICH): #3 seed playing the winner of #6 Wisconsin and #11 Indiana/#14 Nebraska
1-2 (beat OSU): #2 seed playing the winner of #7 Rutgers and #10 Minnesota

2-1 (beat WISC and OSU): #2 seed playing the winner of #7 Maryland and #10 Minnesota
2-1 (beat MICH and OSU): #2 seed playing the winner of #7 Rutgers and #10 Minnesota

3-0: #2 seed playing the winner of #7 Maryland and #10 Minnesota

So, assuming that even with Ayo the games at Michigan and at OSU will be the most difficult, it would be HUGE to grab a win on Saturday and avoid a first-game matchup with Iowa in the BTT. We can't be the 1-seed unless we beat Michigan and MSU sweeps them, I think.

I think our tough-but-achievable goal should be the 2-seed in the BTT and hopefully a BTT performance that earns us a 1-seed in the NCAAs. I obviously want Ayo to only come back when a doctor really thinks he can, but assuming he's cleared ... it might be better for him to play vs. Wisconsin and iron out the awkward kinks of wearing a mask rather than have his first game back be against Michigan. Again, this is a "best case" scenario. Remember that Maryland guy who played like crap his first game in a mask but then torched us in his second game wearing it? Lol.
 
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