Illini Wonk
Saturday, March 12, 2005
  Gophers next for Illini in Big 10 Tournament
Today, the Illinois Fighting Illini have the Minnesota Gophers in the semis of the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. The teams only met once during the regular season and Illinois blew them out at home during their centennial celebration (Illini Wonk recap here). Illinois has made it to four of the seven Big Ten Tournament finals and they'll be looking to make it five of eight today.

However, Illinois did not play particularly well in their win over Northwestern yesterday and Minnesota looked pretty good against an Indiana club that had been hot lately. Add to that, the emotions the Illini will carry into the game due to the death yesterday of Bruce Weber's mother and this is a game the Illini need to show up for. In an understatement, Jim Benson of the Pantagraph says Gophers hope second time the charm against Illinois.

Much of the pre-game coverage is on Bruce Weber's loss and Sports Illustrated says Coach Bruce Weber will have a heavy heart. Illini Wonk has covered this extensively here, here and here. Jim Paul of the Associated Press has some more details here.

Tune in to CBS at 12:40 CST for the game and find the link to the GameTracker here.
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