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Illinois Just Locked Up A Guaranteed 1-Seed In The NCAA Tournament With That Epic Beatdown of Michigan

- You'll have to excuse me from writing this like some standard normal piece of sports journalism. I've been out with the boys for a minute tonight chasing beers and watching my Illini absolutely manhandle Michigan. Spirits are at a record high. There's no time for pleasant formalities. Fact is Michigan got their dicks ripped off and stuffed down their malnourished throats tonight in what I'd describe as the biggest program win since Chris Paul's Demon Deacons got boat raced out of Champaign 16+ years ago. 

- No Ayo = No Problem when you're lead by Brad Underwood. He's been on Red Line Radio a bunch and each time he preaches the importance of road defense in the Big Ten. Sounds redundant at times but then you see Ayo go down and then the gameplan shifts entirely to Illinois just murdering Michigan on the defensive side of the ball. It seemed like the entire team just completely changed over night. When we talk about Ayo's decision to come back, one of the biggest positives to sit out is the opportunity for other guys to step up and do damage. That's exactly what's happened the last 3 games and you could easily argue it's giving the Illini their most momentum of the season. 

- I'm not shitting on Ayo or suggesting he should sit the rest of the season. If I hear or see one of those Bill Simmons arguments then you're a fucking dead man. Don't even try me on this shit. 

- That said you know Ayo is enjoying the nights off and watching his boys step up to the challenge. We've joked all year he obviously needs some rest from carrying the team down the stretch every single fucking night. At some point though it legitimately adds up and you can't help but imagine Ayo getting annoyed which brings me back to tonight. It has to be so relaxing next time he takes the court knowing that his teammates legitimately don't need him to be amazing in order to win much less play well. 

- Talk about turning lemons into lemonade. Literally just one week ago people were telling me this is a garbage overrated team and now everyone is backpedaling their way to Indianapolis. I can handle it because I'm a better man but deep down it's trash people slept on Brad Underwood this year. The guy does nothing but grind out college basketball win totals and this is what you get when he finally gets a shot on the big stage. 

- I want to take a charge for Brad Underwood. 

- I also want to hang out with Curbelo but not do dangerous shit. Just go to Papa Del's and get deep dish and goof off. Maybe do a Tik Tok or play some game cube with the walk ons. Something tells me Curbelo is a real glue guy on and off the court and I most certainly want to huff with the boys. 

- Honestly though in the late 2000's we'd be elbow-to-elbow at Station looking for a glance at Calvin Brock while he handed out O-&-O's to a gaggle of mid-grade alpha chis. The vibes would be epic as the Marching Illini remixes blared deep into the night as sweat stains filled our new spring v-necks. 

I can't believe Rauri went that deep tonight

- Pretty fucking deep but not as deep as the Illini bench. Especially in Ayo's absence. A lot of people have been asking if the squad is deep enough but now I'm thinking maybe it's too deep. Maybe like my buddy's v-neck from legitimately 11 years ago the Illinois roster has too much action come March Madness. Too much depth and sex to go around. Who knows. 

- Finally big shoutout Trent Frazier for just stepping up and taking over the team. As a senior you know that shit has to be so special for him. Obviously he's a team guy but you know he's going to relish an opportunity to step up his last year. Any good competitor would do the same and I think he needs to be applauded for it. 

- Next game is last game of the season at Ohio State. As long as they stay close they should have a #1 seed but honestly let's just go beat their brakes off instead. 

- Ohio State blows. 

- Go Illini