Well, I stayed until the 1:30 mark of the fourth quarter for a football game that with the way Michigan was playing, I think Illinois should have won, but that is for another board.
Since I heard the women would be playing before the men, I went back to the tailgate to get a drink or two before leaving for the mid-day madness. Unfortunately, I ended up getting there as they finished announcing the women's team, so I made it there too early. Women's drills & scrimmage = meh.
The best thing of the afternoon was the announcing of the All Century Team. The video tribute they played was spectacular, as was the narration of the video by Brian Barnhart. I will assume this will be on the DVD that they are making and sending out to all season ticket holders (I don't know if it will be available elsewhere, but I assume it will). This will be a keep sake, I just wish more people could have seen it.
Then they announced the Men's team with a video that started out with "Bring out the Champ" over and over, and showed highlights from last year and the players flashing their Big Ten Championship rings to the camera. (Personally, I hope this video is played before EVERY home game next year before the team is announced).
The announcer for the event was former manager Ryan Baker. He made it sound like we were watching the event life from Rucker Park and the players were wearing AND1 shoes, instead of Nikes.
The three point contest was won by Rich McBride over Dee Brown in the finals. Rich was en fuego during the finals of the three point contest, I think he hit his first seven of them, and finished with 11.
The dunk contest was unspectacular outside of, yes I am saying this, Fred Nkemdi. The best dunk of the night, but the crowd and judges did not understand it was Fred dunking with a pump from a standstill position at the block, no doubts in my mind. Then he threw down the Vince Cater dunk where he hung by his elbow, after missing it once, but that first dunk was the dunk of the night.
Luther ended up winning the dunk contest over Roger Powell, "the Rebounding Rev."
Dunk contests are stale and I have not seen innovation in a dunk contest since Vince Carter put his elbow through the rim, and this one was no different if you ask me.
The scrimmage is exactly what you would expect from a scrimmage of players that are playing three / four hours after just finishing practice. I guess there was a little bit of inside work, but you could tell these guys were tired from the practice earlier in the morning and were just running through the motions with the fans.
The final five minutes turned into who could get the best alley oop / three pointer and it was really sloppy, but nothing wrong with that considering this was the second "practice" of the day and more for fun than anything else.
The best new feature of the Assembly Hall was not the scoreboard, imo. It was the placement of the 100 Years of Illinois Basketball logo on the court on each side of the half court line. It just looks awesome, and it will bring about discussion of it on TV whenever the Illini are on.
Quick Mid-Day Madness Recap
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