Illini Wonk
Friday, January 14, 2005
  More random articles
Man! These Illini are getting harder to keep up with! Los Angeles, Milwaukee, San Diego...what's next? Moscow? Tripoli? Here's Friday's must read:

SI sports writer Grant Wahl puts the Illini among The Magic Eight teams who could win it all. My favorite quote from the article: The way the Illini move the ball as a team, it's as if they got together with LeBron James and said, Let's start a trend of showing kids how to play the right way. Still at SI, the Illini sit atop of Luke Winn's Power Rankings.

Frank Burlison makes the random compilation again with his contention that UNC & Illinois are simply better than the rest. In the front page article, Burlison says that he's not convinced that there is a particularly close No. 3 to the Tar Heels and the Illini.

The success of Luther Head this year didn't come as a surprise to Ed Graney who wrote in the San Diego Union Tribune: "San Diego State fans likely remember Head. He's the player who as a freshman scored a season-high 19 points against the Aztecs in an NCAA Tournament first-round game in Chicago." The full profile can be found here.

While we're on Illini profiles, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sports writer Dan Manoyan takes a closer look at second-year coach Bruce Weber here. Why is the Journal-Sentinel interested in coach Weber, you might ask? Well, that's because Weber grew up on the north side of Milwaukee and graduated from UW-Milwaukee...which you would know if you only read the full profile.

It's good to have the newspaper kids back on campus, with Daily Illini articles here, here and here.

Even the left-wing political rag called the LA Weekly is getting in on the act with an admission from regular columnist Dave Shulman that he is "an addict" of Illinois basketball. Read the full column here.
What's your take on the the Illinois/UNC seesaw? It seems like most of the experts (the ones I can read without paying for ESPN Insider, anyway) are beginning to lean towards UNC, this because UNC has been demolishing teams in the past couple of weeks. (Meanwhile Illinois had that ho-hum game at Purdue, and then they beat Penn State at the Assembly Hall, proving...uh...very little, except that they seem to play better when I listen on the radio instead of watching on TV.)

I think on the whole it'd be a heck of a game to watch, but I can't say I believe 100% in the Tar Heels. I watched some of Carolina-Maryland struggle - the part where Carolina seemed to turn the ball over on two out of three possessions - and I was convinced that Carolina was posing. Then they turned it around and beat Maryland by 30.

So I guess now I'm looking for the answer to the obvious deep spiritual question: "Are Illinois and UNC evenly matched?" I'll give that they're the top two. How close are they to each other?
Great question. Illini Wonk has been working on a post about this very thing. Stay tuned!
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