Illini Wonk
Monday, March 07, 2005
  Where'd all the reporters go?
Well, if nothing else good comes of this loss, Illini Wonk at least hopes that the amount of Illinois basketball coverage will decrease. Not simply because some time out of the media spotlight might be good for the team, but also because this blog is wreaking havoc on my personal/professional life.

Case in point is the news coverage from today:

I know there's been a lot of interest in the Illini this year, but the Christian Science Monitor? The Monitor doesn't even have a sports section and after trying for a few minutes to find an article in their archives about any other college basketball team, Illini Wonk gave up.

And, of course, nothing has been said about anything until the Morris Daily Herald weighs in, which they do on the Illini here.

Then there's all the usual suspects. Mark Tupper wonders where Dee Brown went on Sunday. Could it have been due to the Ohio State taunts? Adam Rittenberg notes the Killer screen set by Terence Dials that freed Matt Sylvester for the game-winning shot. Illinois fans still profess to love them anyway.

In-State Nay-Sayers

Jay Mariotti, who has been saying for weeks to anyone who would listen that the Illini would be better off with a loss, now says that time will tell if it was a good thing. It's no wonder that the good people at the Illiniboard Hoops Forum call him Moranotti. Speaking of in-state nay-sayers, Mike Imrem expected Illinois to lose a game like this and doesn't believe Illinois is good enough to win the national championship. Illini Wonk normally tries to stay objective and simply report the facts, but this guy is either stupid or is just trying to get a rise out of his readers. He should look no further than this past weekend, when #1, 3, 6, and 8 in the AP Poll all lost, while #2 and 4 won on last second shots. Every year, (due to parity, the three-point line, the one-and-done nature of the NCAAs, etc.) any one of about 20 teams could win the national championship and to say that Illinois is not one of those teams this year borders on lunacy.

As Mark Tupper said in a recent column, Critics have been drawing a line in the sand for some time now, placing the No. 1-ranked Illinois basketball team on one side of it. On the other side, they're putting every other team. That's how it looks to me when someone is only willing to say they don't think Illinois can win the national championship. That means they're taking the rest of the field, prepared to say, ''I told you so'' should Illinois stumble before winning the national championship game April 4 in St. Louis. Hey, that's easy. That's gutless. And it takes no skill at all. If that doesn't apply to Imrem, then it doesn't apply to anyone.

Illini News Bites...

...Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Mark Bradley says Illinois would win the ACC if they were in that league...The USA TODAY had, not one, but two articles on the Illini today (warning: the latter is more agreeable to Illinois fans than the former)...
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