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The Midwest Agenda: Empty Calories

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  • The Midwest Agenda: Empty Calories

    Welcome to a special EARLY edition this week as I will try my very hardest to make it to the McLeod tomorrow night through 15 feet of snow and won't be able to do this then. Enjoy!

    It seems like Illinois State has gone through this a lot in the past couple of seasons, or maybe that's just me. At any rate, the Redbirds are at 7-0, but no one cares. A lot of this stems from the fact that ISU Red's strength of schedule is pitiful, with a game against Utah being their only true non-conference test.

    It seems to me that if you had players like Osiris Eldridge and Dinma Odiakosa on your team, you'd want them tested. If Tim Jankovich's plan is to just win the MVC tournament come March and get into the dance that way, then I won't say another word. I have to think that's totally bunk, since being at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference standings has always yielded consideration for a bid at the very least. At least Cuonzo Martin at Missouri State took a fairly untested team though a formidable non-conference schedule. His reward from the basketball gods? 7-0 and a team that could make serious noise once the conference starts. Pay attention, Tim, lest I think you and legions of Illinois State fans will be frustrated by the selection committee yet again.

    Meanwhile, the UNI Panthers will likely take on Iowa tomorrow in front of one of the smallest crowds for such things in recent memory. Not because there's not interest, mind you, but because The Day After Tomorrow is on its way just in time to give us a taste of nuclear winter on Tuesday night. How stupid does this media blackout look now? I would give my kingdom to understand who thought blacking out intrastate rivalry games was a good idea, like there wasn't already interest enough. There were about 14,700 on hand in Ames to watch a great UNI/Iowa State match. That's a sellout. You don't think half of that would fill the McLeod?

    The great thing about writing for PN is someone can clue me in here, because I'm getting a strong sensation that it's just a couple of local broadcasting companies trying to muscle their way into the subconsciousness of paying customers... get something they want, make it exclusive, and the rest takes care of itself, right? Only in America do cable customers pay for the right to have something they want to watch due to severely inclement weather get taken away.


    Other observations:

    This week from the archives:

    Really, Josh?

    Is it just me, or do far too many people have high expectations of Northwestern? I understand that they haven't been to the tournament since 19-forever, but since when does the absence of evidence suggest the Wildcats will go dancing this year? I like Bill Carmody too, I really do. I think he's one of the best coaches in college basketball. Unfortunately for him, kids aren't exactly lining up to play for him since Northwestern has made it clear for decades they aren't interested in being a contender. I'm saying it now: no dance for Northwestern in 2010.

    Iowa State fans are ready to scream bloody murder after dropping their third in a row to a school not from the SWAC, MEAC, MAAC, MAC, or... well, you get the idea. Iowa State has scheduled down for years... and this is what happens when you don't schedule meat market games. I still have faith that Iowa State can right the ship. They'll at least be more battle-tested than Illinois State come conference time.

    Once again Drake is an RPI killer. The more I think about it, the more I think the basketball gods' decision to give them a tourney bid in 2008 was the ultimate punishment: a taste of victory, only to have it taken away. You'll get no complaints from me.

    Until next time, hoops fans... that's IF I survive tomorrow's snow-pocalypse.

    "Once it starts, it never ends."
    -Eldon Miller