Thursday, February 7, 2008
Matters of the Heart
Well here it is Hoosier Nation. The date that has been circled on our calendars since, oh...the summer of 2006. It's Indiana @ Illinois, in what promises to be one of the most emotionally-charged, hostile, hyped games of the decade in NCAA basketball. And it's all thanks to Rivals 150's #1 Ranked shooting guard from Indianapolis, IN, and current Big Ten scoring leader: Eric Gordon, Jr.
This game is much more critical than the football meeting between these two rivals. A random fan's quote to the IU Live news broadcast summed that Illini victory up best: "We don't really care if we lose to them in football. We were never really that good at it anyway...However, we still have Eric Gordon. Boo Yah. (Long pause)." -Anonymous IU tailgater, woken up in the Woodlawn Fields.
EJ and the Indiana Hoosiers (#13) march into Champaign/Urbana with a 7-1 Big Ten record, and the top-two active scorers in the leauge (not to mention top rebounder). After dropping two of their last three, the Hoosiers need a win here against a very weak, vulnerable Illinois team. But as is often the case when marquee teams with All-American talent come to town, Illinois will be giving it a little something extra tomorrow night. Actually they will be giving a lot extra something, as Young Gordon has been the subject of the most fierce and bitter recruiting battle of the decade in college sports. The bad feelings resulting from Gordon breaching his original agreement with U of I to play for IU place this new rivalry right up there with any other in terms of raw hostility.
Illinois' campus paper has posted this article about how the vaunted "Orange Krush" are preparing to give Gordon a special welcome. He probably won't really give a shit. Have you ever heard the guy talk? Probably not. When he gives a quote, his comments make Bill Belichick sound like Shakespeare.
ILLINOIS WILL WIN IF:
Gordon gets fazed on the road.
The crowd throws the Hoosiers out of balance.
The Illini can figure out a solution to D.J. White.
Jessica Simpson starts dating Gordon, and sits in the front row.
INDIANA WILL WIN IF:
They play within themselves.
Gordon drives to the basket with authority, regularly.
They can take the crowd out of the game, either with an early lead or dictating the pace of play.
A disgruntled UofI fan runs onto the floor & assaults Gordon or Sampson for a disqualification.
There is any sense of justice or fairness in this world.
As an added bonus watch this semi-motivational IU video. Be sure to note Young Knuckleballer at the 1:32 mark, where he is (not suprisingly) posing with a flock of fattys. I'll bet he had NO CLUE he was in this.