This is a combo blog that I need to write or else I'll just be up in my apartment all night pacing around thinking about how good my basketball teams are.
Truth be told, they're both fucking awesome and that's putting it lightly. I know Illinois struggled recently and everybody is soft on the Big Ten, generally. But honestly you can't watch Ayo play 41 minutes against the Nuggets in a standout victory without immediately connecting dots. As my good friend Jim likes to say, one hand washes the other. The Bulls inspire young basketball players. Those players go to Illinois and put up All American careers. Then they come home to the Bulls and emerge as a first team all rookie when the team needs it about as bad as ever.
DeRozan on the bench. Caruso on the bench. Patrick Williams out for the year. There's adversity everywhere and the Bulls still pull off a 12-point win hours after finding out they're missing the Eastern Conference Player Of The Week. That's an impressive win and I'm proud to sit through the entirety of the beatdown.
In the other corner is Illinois emerging from the ashes to beat Fran McCaffery - arguably the most satisfying Big Ten coach to beat on his home turf. He gets so pink. Carver Hakweye is such a tough place to play. But Illinois managed to rise above the student section and the early season funk to give a solid conference road victory.
End of the day I can't pick one so I'll just selfishly say both are awesome wins. Both make me lucky to forget the pain of the Bears and the frustration of the Cubs. I'll take whatever mental break I can get from the chaos and right now basketball is my saving grace. And honestly it feels natural. Somehow someway this is tapping back into my late 90's childhood.
For now I'll take it. I know for a fact it could be much worse.
Good reminder to go buy some merch. People forget we sell these Ayo shirts and they're fire/all gas no brakes