Monday, April 04, 2005

Honor the Chief

Tomorrow's sports headline may read [Update: we know what the headline reads in actuality. Illini didn't do anything offensively but launch 3's in the second half. I am still proud of my team]:
Illinois Basketball Team makes history at school's 100th year of basketball. 5th Final Four results in 1st National Championship. Their perimeter defense (I hope) will keep the ball out of May's hands and prevent UNC's inside game from blowing them up.

UNC is better inside than Channing Frye and the Arizona team Illinois beat two weekends ago. But UNC's backcourt will make enough mistakes tonight that even if the UNC frontcourt of May, Williams, and Williams score 55 together (their collective season average is 41), the Illini can win.

(The key stat for this game is the assist-turnover ratio. Illinois has 1.7 assists/turnover, whereas, UNC has 1.2 assists/turnover. The Illini give up the ball 11 times per game, compared to 16 by UNC. The way I figure it, those 5 + extra turnovers will let the Illini pop 5 extra threes, of which they will make at least 2. Those 6 points will win the game.) The Illini will need 16-20 turnovers to win. But they will get those turnovers, with 20 or so assisted baskets, and only about 10 turnovers of their own.

Illinois shoots exactly 40% from behind the arc on the season. If they attempt 37, they will make 15 per their average. And 45 points off the three will be enough to roll on to team history.