It's been awhile since we discussed Illinois' dominance over Minnesota. The last time any Minnesota fan wanted to talk about it was before the Big Ten Conference semis last year when, coming off that amazing win against Indiana, we thought the momentum was in Minnesota's corner.
It wasn't. Bruce Weber and the Illini beat Minnesota for the 20th straight time. Yes, 20. It's a streak that goes back to the days of Lon Kruger and Clem Haskins, writes Mark Tupper.
Tubby Smith didn't make much difference last year. A down Illini team went 3-0 against the Gophers. And now in 2009, Weber has his team playing very, very well. The Gophers need to hold down home court on Thursday.for their 2009 dreams, but also for a little pride. I really don't want to write that the Illini have beaten Minnesota for the 21st consecutive time.
- Beating Illinois won't be easy. Our friends at Illinois blog Paint the Town Orange write that the Illini are vastly exceeding expectations for what was intended as an NIT type of season.
- Maybe it was the shellacking at Duke that pushed some fans over the top, but we have Maryland bloggers now seriously debating the merits of getting rid of Gary Williams.
- Alabama has reportedly fired Mark Gottfried, so as has been the case for weeks, we'll continue to see Tubby Smith's name thrown out as a potential replacement. Alabama administrators reportedly have gushed about the idea of Smith. And that's the first obvious sign they won't land him. Minnesota AD Joel Maturi kept a damn tight lid on his pusuit of Smith. I doubt Smith will appreciate the Alabama administration acting in a less than discreet manner.
- Maize n' Brew thinks the Gophers are in for an "Ass Whoopin'" when they play USC in 2010 and 2011.
- The polls are still showing some respect to the Gophers basketball team. They come in at #24 in the ESPN Coaches Poll and #27 in the AP poll, just outside the rankings.