Monday, February 13, 2006

Illinois 53; OSU 69

Alright, I really don't want to write very much about this game. Suffice to say, the Illini got their asses kicked. They didn't defend the perimeter well, preferring to focus on Terrence Dials. The problem is that Ohio State was pretty much making every outside shot they put up. Je'kell Foster and Jamar Butler combined to go 11-14 from three point range, and, well, you're not going to beat too many teams that do that. This, naturally, caused the Illini to intensify the focus on the perimeter, at which point Terrence Dials killed them, going for 19 and 13.

Look, it's a Big Ten road game, and most of the time, you're going to lose those, especially to good teams. This was clearly no exception. The disturbing part is that the Illini have looked downright bad in their last sixty minutes of action. As the Big Ten Wonk points out, they're giving up an extra .35 points on EVERY POSESSION over that period. That's just brutal, and with their offense, they're gonna get killed playing like that.

The next few games are winnable, and if the Illini are going to respond to Coach Weber's challenge to be a special team, now's the time to prove it. If they continue to falter, they're looking a 7-9 seed and possibly a quick exit from the tournament.

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