The place: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
What's at stake: For the winner, a game against Michigan on Friday. For the loser, poring over NIT projections, hoping to find a place for themselves, and praying to not get stuck in the CBI or CIT.
What does Vegas say: Opened at IU -2, is either there or -1.5 as of this writing.
What does the Orange Krush say:
(Hopefully something better than this. Or maybe not.)
The current mood of IU fan right now, judging solely by the iubb hashtag: We're ready for this game. Let's just hope the team is too.
How important is this game on the usual scale: 9.99; we have to win to still hope for the NCAAs, but it's not the national championship.
How important is this game in one word: Extremely
Over/under number of nets Coach Crean will cut down if we win this game: 0.5 (take the under)
My completely biased, barely researched analysis: These teams split the season series, each taking the home game. Indiana had a shot in Champaign before falling in overtime, while the game in Bloomington was a much more comfortable Hoosier victory. This is probably a close game no matter who wins, and if it turns into a blowout, that probably doesn't mean good things for the Hoosiers, unless it does. That's just the kind of season we've had in 2014.
Reasonable score prediction: Indiana 79, Illinois 76
FULL HOMERSOTA prediction: Indiana 83, Illinois 73