Illinois knocks off Iowa

Submitted by ThadMattasagoblin on March 8th, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Illinois drains a 3 with .003 to play. This will push Iowa to the other side of the BTT with an Ohio win tomorrow and our side with a MSU win.


Baba Booey

March 8th, 2014 at 11:06 PM ^

We have been treated to an incredible season of B1G basketball. Every night something crazy happens. There's so much parity in the league it makes UM's title run even more impressive ... if that's possible.


March 9th, 2014 at 12:52 PM ^

Our worst conference loss was at Indiana.  If someone had told you that would be the case at the beginning of the season....


Everyone else in the conference has at least one completely inexplicable loss.  Wisky lost to Northwestern at home.  Sparty lost to Illinois, and losing to Nebraska at home isn't much better.  The further you go down the standings, the more of this you see.  But we only lost once at home to IMO the 2nd best team in the conference, and just two relatively defensible home losses.  We never fell victim to a Penn State or Northwestern or Purdue catching us on a really bad night.


March 8th, 2014 at 11:09 PM ^

In the grand scheme, I would doubt that this affects Iowa's relative odds of getting in the tournament too much - we're still likely sending six teams as a conference, one of which would still be Iowa. What this does mean is that the Hawkeyes should be a very comfortable #6 in the BTT, so assuming that and if they win their first game, they get #3 in the next game of the BTT. 

Ty Butterfield

March 8th, 2014 at 11:16 PM ^

Just a crazy finish. It is nuts that Illinois was able to knock off Iowa and beat Staee at Breslin, but get absolutely run out of the building by Michigan. I feel like I am on crazy pills.


March 9th, 2014 at 12:57 PM ^

Teams like Kentucky - and us for that matter, if you look at our relative inexperience - are still the exception though.  I'll certainly grant that college basketball is a sport where a talented freshman can make big contributions early.  But most championship contending teams are at least a mix of veteran leadership and young talent.  You find very few top-tier teams that are as freshman/sophomore heavy as we are.

The best team in the country right now is Florida, and they have four seniors in their starting line-up.  No, this isn't football.  But there's still an advantage that comes with experience.


March 8th, 2014 at 11:25 PM ^

Does the game tomorrow affect which side of the bracket Sparty is in? Id be much more worried about that. Extremely tough to beat a even a pretty good team 3 times in a season. Interesting sidebar question I just thought of when thinking about winning the BTT vs going out early and resting up: would you rather achieve the rare feat of the conference double or go to the elite 8 this year? I say elite 8 because I think final four is obviously better.


March 8th, 2014 at 11:43 PM ^

I think MSU and Wisconisn are guaranteed the 2 and 3 seeds, though which one gets which is yet to be determined.  They both have 5 losses with 1 game left, and Nebraska is next with 7 losses.

And the "tough to beat a team 3 times in a season" logic -- the fact that we've played and beat them twice already has no bearing on our chances of beating them a third time (aside from those two earlier outcomes indicating the relative quality of the teams).


March 8th, 2014 at 11:59 PM ^

I mean, you can throw statistical principles at me all you want but I would think any sports fan knows its more difficult to sweep a series than win one game. Emotion plays a big part and Staee will be amped up for another game with us, not to mention the word on the street is that Appling's wrist is feeling better. It gets harder to gameplan a team the more you see them because they know what you're going to try to do to them and they know your strengths and weaknesses that much better. What we could have going for us is that they might want to have the time off for their injuries to heal and are playin for a NC anyway. We're going for the trifecta.


March 9th, 2014 at 12:21 AM ^

Of course its harder to sweep a series than win a game, but that's because you have multiple games to win a series.  I agree that it gets harder to gameplan a team the more you see them, but that cuts equally both ways--that might help us just as much as it helps State.  I also agree that State might be better now than they were in earlier games becuase they are healthier now, but again, that has nothing to do with how many times we've played them alraeady.

Maybe there's some evidence that teams that have lost games earlier in the season "want it" more and that increases their probability of winning, but I highly, highly doubt it.  If someone can demonstrate that, it would be a very cool finding.

snarling wolverine

March 9th, 2014 at 10:24 AM ^

This is anecdotal, but I remember Illinois sweeping us in '89 and then us beating them in the Final Four.  Three years later, Ohio swept us in the '92 regular season but then we beat them in the Elite Eight.  When you have two quality teams going up against each other, you probably shouldn't expect one to win three times, especially as they gain more and more familiarity with each other.

In the specific case of Sparty, we know Izzo is obsessed with beating us and is probably dying to get another crack at us to prove the tide hasn't turned, whereas I don't think Beilein places all that much importance on the BTT in general.  Playing three games in three days doesn't do our perimeter-oriented team many favors, either.


March 9th, 2014 at 1:04 PM ^

I think what you're trying to say is that there's no such thing as being "due."  I'm glad someone else is saying it, because I seem to find myself mixed up in these debates too often.

Beating MSU three times in one year is a daunting task for sure.  But if we fact them again, we only have to beat them once.  The "it's hard to beat the same team three times" argument meant something back in November before we had played them at all.  But it's irrelevant today because we no longer have to beat them three times.  We only need to do it once (assuming both teams even make it that far, of course.)


March 8th, 2014 at 11:41 PM ^

I'm seeing a lot of posts which would make me believe winning the BTT and advancing to the Final Four are mutually exclusive events.  IIRC last year Louisville won the Big East regular season title, the Big East Tournament title, annnnndd....?? 


March 8th, 2014 at 11:59 PM ^

Iowa looking very much like a team that will be lucky to make it to the 2nd weekend. Big change from when they were a top 10 team briefly back in January


March 9th, 2014 at 12:37 AM ^

Something that I don't think gets enough attention in basketball is matchups. And by that I mean the way two teams matchup. Illinois is 4-1 down the stretch, but we blew their doors off. Indiana lost at home to Nebraska and their offense looked terrible, and then they come into Ann Arbor and shoot an eFG% of 66%. 

I think Indiana is a bad matchup for Michigan, and I really dont want to face them again if possible. Indy struggles mightily again 2-3 zone defenses, which is something we don't seem to have in our arsenal or dont use often. For that reason, I will be rooting hard for whoever Indy plays in their first game. Looks like it might be Illinois and their suffocating defense, so I'm hopeful we get the Illini in the quarters. Then, I'd like to see either OSU or Nebraska in the semis. I know Iowa is in a tailspin, but I still dont want to play them because I think their style can sometimes be a tough matchup for us. 


March 9th, 2014 at 1:07 PM ^

Wisconsin is playing much better late in the season than they were early in the Big 10 slate.  The only reason I think Nebraska is competitive in this game is because they need it more.  But I think UW wins.