Actually I think my wife did make some good points about the game - the only thing I would've added is how disappointed I am that The Paint Crew did not seem to be on Branden Dawson the whole game. We sat right next to The Paint Crew and I really felt that Kirk and I were the only ones yelling anything when he got the ball in the second half. This guy punched Travis Carroll and taunted Matt Painter in his first two years at MSU - and he goes off for a career-high 20 points. I'm not saying he wouldn't have gone off if there had been "A-Hole" chants every time he touched it, but you have to at least try right? The Paint Crew gets sheets on their seat before every game. This game's sheet should have been devoted to Dawson. As a former Paint Crew board member, I'm disappointed in you guys.
Luckily the Paint Crew will have some time to recoup as the next home game is not until next Sunday. The Boilers, however will have their hands full tomorrow night against a team that gave Purdue their highlight of the season...
Why Purdue Will Win
It seems like ages ago, but Purdue did actually beat the Illini earlier this year. In fact, the Boilers have beat Illinois 8 straight times, so they haven't had much of a problem in (this) Assembly Hall. Purdue's success has usually been a result of someone going off in Champaign (anyone remember E'twaun Moore making unbelievable fadeaways or John Hart's not-on-the-roster explosion?). Terone Johnson and DJ Byrd both had huge games in the first meeting - will they step up again? If Illinois has one of their cold shooting stretches, the Boilers could very well pull this one out.
Why Illinois Will Win
The Illini's season has been pretty much the exact opposite of Purdue's season. Illinois started 14-1 with some huge wins before falling to Purdue and sliding to 2-7 in the Big Ten. However, Illinois has fought their way back into the NCAA tourney with two huge wins over Indiana and at Minnesota. The Illini are one of the hottest teams in the conference and are nearly impossible to beat if they're shooting well. Even if they don't shoot very well, Nnanna Egwu can still seal the game by beating Hammons down low. If he can stay out of foul trouble, Illinois should win easily.
One thing you absolutely need to know before the game
I mentioned Egwu's foul trouble and it's something to keep an eye on. Illinois' most recent win over the Gophers was the first time in NINE games that Egwu didn't have at least 4 fouls. Get those fouls early and Hammons should have a huge advantage.
Our Picks - We like to think we're better than Vegas. So throughout the season, we'll be "betting" a whole dollar amount versus the spread between $1 and $32, but we can't repeat the same value twice. The spread for this game is Illinois by 8.5 points.
Erik's Bet: $16
Erik's Pick: Illinois 74 - Purdue 64
Kirk's Bet: $6
Kirk's Pick: Illinois 72 - Purdue 62
Erik +214 (18-8 Against The Spread)
Kirk -139 (11-15 Against The Spread)
Values already bet
Erik 1-17, 21, 23-28, 30-32