Hate Hate Hate: Illinois At Indiana Preview
Indiana and Illinois have a rather long history of animosity. It probably isn't as celebrated a rivalry of the likes of Purdue and Indiana or Michigan Ohio State, but frankly those games revolve not just around competitiveness and pride, but also mutual respect.
Illinois and Indiana, in my experience is not that type of rivalry. Going back for some time, across multiple coaching staffs, Illinois and Indiana has been a game based around embarrassing the other team, coach and fan base.
Remember last year, the awful showing that it was for Illinois? When Indiana rushed the court, Tom Crean showed up for the cameras and didn't shake hands?
Remember the 30 point thumping the Illini put on those Hoosiers in Champaign?
Remember back further when Kelvin Sampson convinced Eric Gordan to go back on his commitment to Illinois and head to Bloomington instead?
Remember the game where the Assembly Hall was filled with so much negative energy, you wonder how Sampson and Gordon didn't spontaneously burst into flames from the bad vibes headed their way?
That's not even getting into the many, many run ins between Bob Knight and Lou Henson through out the 80's and early 90's.
Ask which team I want to beat most every year, and it is Indiana without even the slightest moment's hesitation.
The midwest is a wasteland in February. Drive across the state of Illinois, down 74, through Champaign, Danville, and cross the Indiana border into Covington and on down one of the state highways to Bloomington, and you probably wont see one growing thing, or even appreciable sign of civilization all that often. It's cold and wet and miserable in this part of the country this time of year. Good passive aggressive midwesterners like we are, we internalize our hatred for our lives and our surroundings, allowing it to spill out in a socially acceptable manner, screaming til you're purple at college basketball players. There is a reason basketball is so popular in the midwest, and it is to distract us from the fact that when we look out of the window it looks like a Cormac McCarthy novel.
I think I can speak for the majority Illinois fans, that no matter how this team could pull it off, the Illini need to win this game. Angst has built up once again, and the team seems to be headed to another so-so season with a middling seed and a middling March effort.
Catharsis is beating a ranked Indiana team on the road. Catharsis is following up a loss that should never happen with win that maybe shouldn't happen this year.
I don't care how. If it means playing all the freshmen 30 minutes plus each, so be it. If It means taking 40 three pointers, whatever. Just get this one and let me forget that this season hasn't gone exactly to plan.
86.0 F (30.0 C)
Pressure : 1009.1 mb
Humidity : 63 %
Wind : Southeast at 13.8 MPH (12 KT)
What's on FOX Illinois Full Schedule
Gangs of New York
That '70s Show
According to Jim
The Cleveland Show