Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ohio State at Illinois tonight for Illinois Day

Looks like the Illini are going to capture a little US spirit tonight as their game against Ohio State is broadcast on ESPN on the same day of the Presidential Inauguration.

In case you live under a log, President Obama was a Senator from Illinois, so the U of I is capturing a bit of that US/Illinois spirit. They plan to blend their typical sea of Orange with mini US flags. Should make for a couple of interesting pictures. BTW, if the Illini can make a run to the Final Four in the next 4 years, don't you think the Big Cheese will be all over that bandwagon, ala Bill and the Razorbacks?

More importantly, this is a big statement game for the Illini. After finally gaining attention from the Pollsters, they enter the game ranked 25th in AP Poll and 24th in the Coaches Poll. Illinois comes in 15-3, 3-2 in the B10 after losing a heartbreaker to Michigan State in E. Lansing after leading by 7 at halftime.

They are playing a very unselfish brand of basket with 4 players average in double figures and come into the game 2nd in the nation in team assists with 19.4 per game. They are also 23rd in the nation in FG % at 47.9%.

Ohio State comes in 13-3, also 3-2 in the B10. They are a very young team led by two super Sophs, Evan Turner (from Chicago's St. Joseph) and Jon Diebler and a freshman William Buford.

This should be a dandy B10 matchup, as Keith Jackson would say!