Saturday, March 03, 2007
To the point, our regular season came to an end today (9-7 in conference) and 21-10 overall. That may NOT be good enough to continue in the post-season. So, here's what it comes down to in my humble opinion.
- If we win two games in the BIG-10 Tourney (up in Chicago) - we're definintely in the big show. No question. Hail to the Chief and go get 'em with that big-time defense! Two more wins would include a first-round victory over Penn State on Thursday and a quarterfinal win over Indiana on Friday. If we get to 23 wins, there is not question.
- If we don't win another game this season - we're pretty at the mercy of the selection committee and I don't like our chances. There are too many good teams across the land sitting squarely on the bubble who can easily make a good claim. Stick a fork in us. You can't lose to Penn State on a neutral court in early March.
- If we win only one game in the BIG-10 Tourney, the I would say we have a 50/50 chance to make the NCAA tourney, but it wouldn't be a sure thing. I don't like sitting on the fence. Honestly, I think this deal will come down to the quarterfinal on Friday with Indiana. Without a convincing conference win this year away from home, the committee will be looking to see if we're worthy of a bid. Many teams have proven they can lose, but the ILLINI need to prove that they can win a big game away from home.
Again, our best wins of the year were at home (Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, and Iowa). And while it's true we don't have a loss outside the top-100, it's also true that our best road wins in conference were against NW, Minnesota, and Penn State - not exacly powerhouse competition this year. So, that' show I see it as the calendar flips to March. Check back in a week or so to see how these predictions turned out.