How about those Illinois Fighting Illini? This is a team that had a massive amount of turnover coming in to this season, but things have begun clicking far sooner than I think most fans expected. By far the biggest click of the season happened this past Saturday when Illinois upended Missouri in the annual Bud Light Braggin’ Rights game in St. Louis.
This game was an instant classic, and not just because Illinois came out with the W. It was an instant classic because it had huge moments, and phenomenal plays throughout the contest.
Below, you will find a sampling of four plays that deserve a second look. Luckily for Illinois fans web-wide, Dan at Illinois Loyalty put together some animated gif’s so that everyone that might have missed them live can get a second chance to see them.
We, at Writing Illini, are curious which one you liked the best. So, please take time to vote in the poll below after watching each choice!
Without any further ado, here are the nominees for plays of the game versus the Missouri Tigers this past Saturday afternoon.
Rayvonte Rice Avoids the Block and Sinks the Reverse Layup
Nnanna Egwu Comes Up Short, but Jon Ekey Hits an Incredible Follow
Jon Ekey Buries a 3 with :50 Left to Give Illinois a 1 Point Lead
Tracy Abrams Sinks A Pair of Free Throws With 4.6 Left to Play to Tie and Take The Lead
Watching all those plays again just gave me chills. The Illini left it all on the court against the Tigers, and this game won’t soon be forgotten by the Illinois faithful. Choosing a best play of these four is very difficult, because they are all winning plays, that is, plays that players make when all the chips are down that end up contributing to the win.
It’s very tough to choose against Abrams’ game winning free throws because of the situation, and the fact that it was the actual game winning pair of points, but I am going to go with Ekey’s quick trigger 3 pointer because this was Ekey’s first taste of the Braggin’ Rights game and he displayed some major ice in his veins to step up and knock that shot down at that point in the game.
Bottom line, there’s no wrong answer here, but let’s see what everyone else thinks!
You can follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.