bruce weber: highs and lows
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DESCRIPTIONBruce Weber: Highs and lows
B4 SPORTS SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012 DECATUR, ILLINOIS www.herald-review.com
‘ It’s a tremendous honor to not only be aBig Ten coach, but to be in a program
that I believe is truly one of the top 15 inthe country and has a chance to win a
national championship. That’s a mouth-ful, but I believe it can be done.’
Bruce Weber, April 31, 2003
‘We had great success here but in thelast four or five years, I don't know if
you want to say (that) we’re running inplace, or maybe even digressed.’
Mike Thomas, Illinois AD
26-7 13-3 Big TenBig Ten champsNCAA Sweet 16
Starting threesophomores, the Illini closed with 10straight wins to lockup the regular-season Big Ten title.
Big Ten champsNCAA runner-up
Comeback from15 points down toArizona in theregional final wasan instant NCAATournament classic.
Illini were rankedNo. 1 for 15 straightweeks.
2005-0626-7 11-5Big Ten 2nd
NCAA second round
2006-0723-12 9-7Big Ten 4th
NCAA first round
Illinois ranks No.4 in the nationwhile holdingteams to just 57.1points per gameand reaches 20wins for the eighthstraight year
Perfect regularseason was spoiledon the last day in65-64 loss at OhioState. MattSylvester hits a 3with 5.1 secondsleft for Buckeyes.
Ranked in thetop 10 much of theseason, they losein the first round ofthe Big 10 tourney,then to Washing-ton in the NCAA.
As a No. 12seed, Illinois hasVirginia Tech down13 late in a first-round NCAA gamewhen the Hokiesgo on a 20-5 surgeand win 54-52.
2007-0816-19 5-13Big Ten 9th
Illini make it tothe Big Ten titlegame despitebeing a No. 10seed before losingto Wisconsin in thefinal.
2008-0924-10 11-7 Big Ten
Big Ten 2ndNCAA first round
Illini go 12-1 innon-conferenceplay and smashPurdue (thenranked No. 12) 66-48 to completecomeback fromdismal ’07-’08 year.
2009-1021-15 10-8Big Ten 5th
Illinois defeatsNo. 5 Michigan 78-73 at the AssemblyHall in the midst ofa five-game win-ning streak that putthe Illini at 9-3 inBig Ten play.
2010-1120-14 9-9Big Ten 4th
NCAA third round
For the first timein five years, Illinoiswins an NCAATournament game,defeating UNLV,73-62.
So much for thenice start as the Illini go 1-5 to closethe regular season.And most weren’teven close —losing by 19, 10, 2,16 and 15 points.
The Illini can notpull out the closeones. They led orwere tied in thesecond half of 11 ofits 14 losses.
2011-1217-15 6-12Big Ten 9th
Brandon Paulgoes off for 43points as Illinoisimproves its recordat home to 11-0and 15-3 overallwith the 79-74 winover No. 5 OhioState.
The Illini will notbe in the NCAATournament for thethird time in fiveyears — the worststretch since thelate 1970s whenthere were 40teams in the field.
There’s no post-season tournamentfor the first timesince the 1999team missed out.The Illini are sweptby Penn State.
Illinois was neverin the game, watch-ing 12th-seededWestern Kentuckygo crazy from 3-point range as theIllini fall 76-72 in afirst-round game.
A 15-0 run startto season is high-lighted by 70-60win over No. 7Michigan State asDee Brown goesoff for 34 points.
Concerns startedto arise after Illinishoot 30 perecentin the second half ofa 70-51 loss to Prov-idence.