The numbers say that IU was the most efficient offense in the Big Ten this year. Unfortunately, that number seems highly reliant on the three point shot. Against Illinois, in all three matchups this season, we have struggled to find open looks, and the frustration I described in my preview post continues. I can be a bit dangerous with math, but my calculations indicate a 62 possession game (pretty slow for an overtime game) and a total for IU of about .87 points per possession. Illinois was also below 1.0, but that's just awful. Here's the ugly box score for your review.
I really despise the empty feeling of waking up on a Saturday morning on March and knowing there could be a game today but isn't. It's not as bad as the same feeling would be next weekend, but it's no fun nonetheless. As I noted in the preview post, the importance of this game was getting us out of the 7-8-9-10 seeding range. IU's seed usually is a pleasant surprise, so I have some hope, but not much, that week can sneak into a 7 seed. I have looked at it systematically, but maybe the rash of tournament upsets will help us.
With no game until at least Thursday, I hope to spend some time looking back at the season this coming week, while of course discussing Selection Sunday and the impending NCAA Tournament. I think it's fair to say most of us would have taken 20-1 (10-6) at the beginning of the season, but our early performance had us expecting more than we ultimately got. At least we know that next time we play Illinois, we will have a genuine scoring threat who can find his own shot. I think the Illini know his name.