No, this is not a typo…
Penn St. really did win a 38-33 thriller in Champaign tonight.
Apparently, with six minutes remaining, the score was 31-24 in favor of the Illini, but PSU made a mad rush to outscore Bruce Weber’s team 14-2 down the stretch (a veritable blitzkrieg) to secure the win. Or, as ESPN’s copy editors put it, Penn St. powered past Illinois.
The two teams combined to shoot 28-96 (.292) from the field and 6-33 (.180) from three, which by any objective measure is also known as an abortion on the court. There were more bricks thrown up in this one than in Modesto and West Palm during the height of the housing bubble. One of our earliest memories of basketball was this crime against hoops-manity which helped inspire the original 45-second shot clock in 1985-86; it’s nice to see that we can count on the Big Ten to set new modern records for offensive futility. The combined total of 71 pts is the lowest output in four years (since Monmouth defeated Princeton 41-21 in 2005). We have no idea how long it’s been for a BCS conference, but this might just be the worst of the shot-clock era. Ugh.
We just saw ESPN break down the NCAA Tourney chances of both of these teams, and we’re disgusted that either of these teams are even in the conversation given the putrid display they each put forth tonight. Oh, it was a defensive battle, right?