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Up Next: [Mar. 12th, 2005|08:08 am]
(gulp) Illinois.

OK, so we have no chance to beat the #1 team in the country, but really... our work here is done. We did what we needed to accomplish, and secured a spot in the NCAA Tourney... The outcome of today's game has no significant impact on either team. What, Illinois will move down... zero spots if they happen to lose? And if the Gophers lose, they'll move down approximately... zero spots? Really, the only reason to try to win is to continue our winning streak heading into the tourney, and to get the national media to give us some respect... just kidding, they wouldn't give us the time of day if we beat Illinois, UNC, and Duke by a combined score of 80!

Although it might be cool if we can upset the giant, realistically... it ain't happening. And I'm perfectly OK with that. I mean, the Gophers are going to the NCAA Tournament after years of frustration and no improvement in sight. I can't be THAT demanding to expect us to beat Illinois.

The outcome I'm hoping for... is an extreme one. Either the Gophers pull off the huge upset... or the Gophers get crushed by 30. Why, you may ask? Seeding. Right now, we're looking (I believe) at a 8/9 seed, which is something I desperately want to avoid. I mean, I know we can't play Illinois in the 2nd round due to being in the same conference and all, but do we really want a 2nd round matchup with a team like UNC? If we lose spectacularly, we might go down to a 10 seed and have a more winnable 2nd round game against a 2 seed (I know the 1st round matchup will then be tougher for us, but really... what's the difference between a 7 and 8 seed? Not that large of a disparity between the two), or if we (miraculously) win against Illinois, perhaps a 7 seed will be our future.

Although one of those two scenarios would be nice, it's probably going to be either a close game where Illinois runs with it late, or a game where Illinois keeps us within a safe 10-15 point distance the whole game. Eh, I'll probably start playing MVP midway through the 2nd half.