Illinois finally wakes up

2008 B10 Tournament logoThe Illini have been headscratchers all season long. Their power rankings would suggest that they should be about .500 in conference but as we all know they’ve played well below that level. In the Pomeroy rankings, there’s only been a very small difference between Purdue and Illinois all year (which perhaps indicates just how good a job that Matt Painter has done with the Boilermakers).

For their B10 tournament matchup, Purdue was predicted to just be a three point favorite over Illinois (which means they would be even on Illinois’s home court). Illinois finally stepped up and got the big win. I expect them to top Minnesota today later today and actually make it to the finals.

Either way, the Illinois/Minnesota semifinal means headaches for the NCAA selection committee. One of those two teams will be in the finals and neither are projected to have NCAA bids. That means the tournament selection committee will have to work on contingency plans for what happens if one of the two actually claim the Big Ten auto bid.