"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Hey guys - I made some predictions at the beginning of the year for the Big Ten season and I've been tracking the results versus the expected outcomes... Here's the link:
And here's the current standings along with the deviations so far from expected:
Go Blue! And don't forget to watch right now on ESPN!
There was some debate a few days ago over whether McGary's Twitter message meant that he was rehabbing. We need debate no more. He recently started doing what Coach Beilein guesses must be "very, very" light work with the team's doctors.
A couple years ago I posted something about the effect of a new arena on a MBB team -- it dramatically and demonstrably increases that team's winning. I had studied the annual records of Staee, OSU, and Wiscy. Each of them had middling records prior to each of their new hoops arenas, then within 2-3 years of opening Breslin/VCA/Kohl, a dramatic uptick in annual wins occurred. Staee was the perfect test case -- Heathcote was the coach for years before and after Breslin opened, so the difference certainly had a lot to do with the new arena. OSU was the opposite; I think Ayres was let go right about the time VCA opened. But there was no question, the new arena really helped the overall record for each team.
UM could be said also to benefit from the "remade" new arena, as our team's competitiveness has increased around the same time as the "new" arena. Obviously Coach B's growing influence has a lot to do with that. But you can sell your team to recruits based on the soon to be opened arena, and I would think Mitch and GRIII could well be part of the benefits of the remodeling (at least indirectly -- a recruit can have confidence in a program's legitimacy by having a spankin' kickbutt arena). Another team you can say also is benefitting from remodeled arena is Iowa -- had been really bad for years, Carver-Hawkeye got a multimillion remodelling job in 2011, and now a couple years later the team is getting much more competitive. Again, however, the contemporaneous coaching change makes this a less-than-perfect test case.
So now we have Nebraska as the new example. Last year, watching them, I said that they were 2 years away from being ranked, given their new arena opening and their new coach. I'm still thinking I was right. They are a BITCH to play in Lincoln now; they just can't play on the road, yet. But at some point next year, they could well be 10-1 or 11-2 or something and get ranked, and then end up 9-9ish in the B1G.
Am I making this up, or would anyone agree that the new arena in Lincoln is going to help create a Minnesota-ishly quasi-dangerous MBB team over the next few years. And what's that say about the future competitiveness of Illinois, Purdue, PSU, etc., who are stuck in old arenas.
In a game of many lead changes in the second half, northwestern hit a 3 to tie the game at 68 with less than 30 seconds left.
Michigan took it down the floor and Siera Thompson was fouled. She is a 91% free throw shooter and the clutch Freshman buried both shots to win the game for Michigan.
According to the ESPN bracketology, Michigan is the second team in the "Next Four Out" section behind northwestern. So this could be a big game should the Wolverines continue winning (currently 15-8)
After the hot start to the conference slate, they team has come back down to earth and could very well be a bubble team. Would be great if they can get in in a rebuilding year.
Michigan gets #25 Purdue on Sunday at Noon on BTN. Michigan beat them earlier in the season at Mackey for the second straight year.
They were selected in the 3rd and 4th round of the game's draft, featuring only 1st and 2nd year NBA players. They will play for team Webber (yes that Webber).
Anthony Davis and Damien Lillard were the first picks going to Webber and Grant Hill respectively, and if anyone is interested anymore Piston big man Andre Drummond was selected in the 3rd round by Hill. The game will take place on the Friday of the NBA All-Star Weekend.
All Lunardi disclaimers apply.
M is a 3 seed, moved down from a 2 because of the IU loss.
Also, some interesting notes:
- MSU is a 2 seed
- Wisconsin is a 4 seed
- OSU and Iowa are 5 seeds
- Minny is a 10 seed
- Indiana is among his first four out, putting them squarely on the bubble. That's quite a rise for IU.
- FSU is still hanging on as a 10 seed.
Last, Lunardi's actual bracket set up just like last year, with matchups against Kansas and Florida. Oh, the memories.