Tuesday, November 22, 2005

LET'S NOT GET TOO EXCITED

Wow, a team finally makes it to the final four and Randy goes ballistic! Just out of curiosity, I checked the NCAA record books and there was nary a sign of an Illinois national championship . . . curious. So then I looked at final four appearances and found this:

Aside from that juggernaut Illini team making 3 final four appearances between 1949 and 53 they have made exactly . . . wait for it . . . TWO final four appearances since the invention of the jump shot. WOW! I am impressed. But what is more impressive is that they have actually won ONE game in those final four appearances, unfortunately never winning a national champsionship.

MSU, on the other hand, has 6 final four appearances with a measly TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS.

How do these results stack up with other now Big Ten teams? Glad you asked because it exposes the lack of, shall we say, talent in Illini basketball.

Here is the current Big10 teams with final four appearances and national championships in brackets:

Indiana: 8 (5)
MSU: 6 (2)
Michigan: 6 (1) (a pox upon their house)
Wisconsin: 2 (1)
Ohio St.: 8 (0)
Illinois: 5 (0)
Iowa: 3 (0)
Purdue: 2 (0)
Penn St.: 1 (0)
Minnesota: 1 (0)

That ranks the Illini right behind those 1940's powerhouse Buckeye squads and just ahead of those Hawkeyes. Color me impressed.

But wait, the Illini have TWO final four appearances since 1989, you say. Unfortunately MSU has 4 with a title. How does this compare to others making the final fours since the hey-day of the fleeing Ilinni?

Duke 6(3)
North Carolina: 7(1)...oops, scratch that--they have two titles, I forgot they won last year too 7(2)!
Kentucky 4(2)
Connecticut 2(2)
Michigan St. 4(1)
Arizona 3(1)
Arkansas 3(1)
Michigan 3(1) (a pox upon their house)
Syracuse 3(1)
Maryland 2(1)
UNLV 2 (1)
UCLA 1 (1)
Kansas 4
Florida 2
Georgia Tech 2
Illinois 2
Indiana 2
Cincinatti
Louisville
Marquette
Massachussetts
Minnesota
Mississipi St.
Ohio St.
Oklahoma
Oklahoma St.
Seton Hall
Stanford
Texas
Utah
Wisconsin

I know I'd be bragging about the Illini if I were a fan, I-M-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E.

Oh, and Randy, just a quick question, since you happen to be the local Peoria geography wiz. What state is St. Louis in?