Illinois: still #1
After the first loss of the season, the question on the minds of many Illinois basketball fans is now: did the world come to an end? Just kidding. Of course it did. The real question: will the pundits still love them in the morning? Enough to keep them ranked #1?
Andy Katz says yes. Illinois is still the #1 team in the country
. Illini Wonk says matbe, but it doesn't matter. Far more important is another #1 and that's the #1 seed in the Chicago bracket. Katz thinks they still have the #1 overall seed in the tournament and this blogger agrees, but if the Illini want to take it out of the hands of the committee, they have to win the Big Ten Tournament.
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sportsline says You can have the rest of the NCAA Tournament field if you'll give me Illinois
Of the loss, Mark Tupper blogs we’ll all get to find out if it’s a good thing
. He says: Losing at Ohio State Sunday doesn’t bother me too much
and then says What does worry me is how Illinois played
Mike DeCourcy was at the game and filed this report
. He quotes Coach Bruce Weber saying Everyone said we needed to lose. I hope they're right. I'd rather lose now than three weeks from now
columnist Rick Morrissey and said The team we saw Sunday is not the team we saw in the previous 29 games
. He also said All of what happened Sunday was fixable, basketball-wise and psyche-wise
. In the same paper, Neil Milbert handicaps the Big Ten Tourament
and says Now the top-ranked Illini have something to prove
. Oh yeah, and he predicts the Illini will win it. You can also vote in their poll
on whether or not you think the loss was a good thing. Milbert also recapped
the game and apparently Matt Sylvester is a psychic. Marlen Garcia, another Trib sports-writer wrote about the struggles by Illinois' guards
and, in another write-up said Their storybook season isn't over yet. Even fairy tales have moments of despair and uncertainty
Remember New York Times
reporter Pete Thamel and his profile of Weber earlier in the season? Well, he was in Columbus, too and wrote this
: Weber blamed himself for a halftime adjustment that allowed the Buckeyes to stay in the game. Weber told his players not to trap ball handlers on screens, but the lack of pressure allowed Ohio State to run its offense freely. The Buckeyes had no turnovers in the second half
Nine more games to go?
UPDATE: Dick Vitale says Illinois still has right stuff for title