Football season is thankfully over. Good riddance, and time to move on to hoops.
First-year head coach John Groce has the Illinois Fighting Illini off to a 6-0 start this season. He is just the third Illini coach to begin his UI tenure with at least six consecutive wins.
Illini Win EA Maui Invitational;
Paul Named MVP, Richardson All-Tourney
Illinois claimed the Maui Invitational, winning the tournament for the first time in four tries after a runner-up finish in 2000 and third-place showings in 1987 and 2007. And the Illini did it in dominating fashion, posting winning margins of 30 points over USC, 23 points over Chaminade and 17 points over Butler. In fact, Illinois never trailed in 120 minutes of play in Maui, with only one tie (2-2 vs. Butler in title game’s opening minute). So they beat the Coach in Brad Stevens who turned down the Illini job. Redemption?
By the way, in the history of the Maui Invitational, only one champion, 1986 Vanderbilt, failed to make the NCAA Tourname...