Sunday, March 19, 2006

Quick Reminder

Earlier today:
On tap today, the Illini meet Washington in what should be the day's most anticipated matchups. Said it before, but I'll say it again. It's all going to come down to officiating. Let them play, and the Illini advance. Call it tight and Washington wins it at the line, while Brian Randle spends a lot of time in his warmups.
I've already opined on this before, but I think this game is going to come down to officiating. Not only do the differences in style of play push me in that direction, but the differences in the ability to make free throws scare the hell of me. I think the Illini are a better team, but I just can't pick this one without knowing how tight it's going to be called.
Last Wednesday:
Illinois over Washington: This game will be determined almost completely by officials. Let them play and Illinois rolls. Call it tight and Washington wins a free throw shooting contest, with Brandon Roy putting up big numbers against whoever is forced to replace Brian Randle.
Final numbers:
Washington - 39 Free throw attempts - 11 converted by Brandon Roy
Illinois - 11 free throw attempts. That's right. They shot as many as Brandon Roy made. Apparently a hand check is a foul if you do it to a guy wearing a purple jersey, but it's not a foul when a guy in purple jersey does it to you. Also, when a ref starts a five count on an inbound play, you actually have about 7-8 seconds to get the ball in. You can take a few seconds, put the ball down for someone else to pick up, then he can take a few seconds, then a few seconds later you can call a timeout. Honestly, if I'd known that they were going to determine the officials based on a pregame raffle, I would have made the trip to San Diego.

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