Illini Wonk
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
  Duke voter outed
This week, the Fighting Illini were ranked #1 for an eighth consecutive week in the Associated Press College Basketball poll. With Kansas falling from the ranks of the unbeaten, Illinois increased their tally of #1 votes to a one-short of unanimous 71. The only dissenting vote went to the 15-0 Duke Blue Devils, who have only played one team who was ranked in the top-25 at game-time.

Well, David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune has outed the lone Duke voter as sportswriter Austin Bishop of the Neshoba Democrat in Philadelphia, Miss. In the Trib article, Bishop said he has ranked Illinois #1 ever since their win over Wake Forest, but put Duke ahead of them after the Illini struggled to beat Iowa at home last week. Bishop also kidded he would prefer keeping his e-mail address and office phone number out of the Chicago papers.

Well, it may not be in the Chicago papers, but Illini Wonk does not exist to supress information that might be of interest to fans of the Fighting Illini, so here's his email: and phone number: 601-656-4000. If you agree or disagree with his vote, feel free to let him know.

Hat tip to College Basketball (who else) for bringing the Trib article to our attention and labeling it "a terrible mistake."

Also, the AP picked up the story and it ran in the Aberdeen American News, which hails from Illini Wonk's home state.

UPDATE: 11-5 Maryland ended this debate with a 75-66 victory over Duke at Cameron.
Thanks for supplying the email address. I just wrote this to Austin the moron:


How could you possibly vote Duke as the #1 team in the country over Illinois this week? Are you insane?

"I weighed the conferences, and I just think what Duke is doing is in the ACC is slightly more impressive than what Illinois is doing against Big Ten competition,"

What in the heck could you possibly think by uttering this statement? What exactly are they ‘doing’ in the ACC? Beating the cupcakes?

The only thing I can assume is that you know absolutely nothing, nothing whatsoever about College Basketball.

You’re right, Duke’s lone win against the top 25 (and it came on their home floor) is impressive (note the sarcasm here).

Illinois, with HUGE wins over Wake Forest (former #1 and frontrunner to take the ACC), Gonzaga (a perennial powerhouse from a small conference who has gone on the road to win against such solid teams as Oklahoma St—it was a neutral court, but not near Gonzaga, and Cincinnati (another solid top-15 ball club) is obviously the only team deserving of #1 votes (take note from your peers).

To say the following is rather ludicrous: "I think it's a voter's job to re-evaluate his vote every week," said Bishop, 46. "I don't like the way a lot of guys vote, like they're invincible and their 1-2-3 teams can't change week to week. It should be like March Madness every week. Things can change."

Sure, Illinois struggled to win over an underrated Iowa team who has knocked off the likes of Louisville and Texas, but even a win over such a club, when taken in context with their entire season, must put them at the top spot. March Madness every week? What the hell does that mean? When it comes to tournament seeding time, the selection committee doesn’t just figure in the last game or two played by a team, they figure in the whole season, which is why the selection committee would choose Illinois as their #1 seed overall.

Hopefully the win over Wisconsin last night in THE toughest place to play in the country will open your eyes.

Get a clue pal.
Do you think this guy is hearing it today? After his rationale, the Illini goes and battles in one of the toughest places to play in NCAA history and Duke then falls to a struggling team in front of the Crazies, or the correct description last night, the Cameron Manic Depressives...the toughest place for Duke to lose.

I think it shows that while the Iowa game was close at home for the Illini, they did win and to take points off for a team on that basis is an incorrect rationalization.
Who in the world is the moron who thinks that the Kohl center is the toughest place in the country to play a road game? Ever heard of Assembly Hall in Champaign? Home to the Fighting Illini? Are you stupid or something? All I know is that if I were a college coach I would much rather go play at Wisconsin than at Illinois. End of Story.
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