March 12th, 2005

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This just sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.

I got home from Poway's basketball banquet last night, anxious as all hell. I'd finished the highlight video 30 minutes before the start, half an hour after Glenbrook North started their sectional final game against Conant. The radio feed was spooling to b5's hard drive, but I didn't have time to try to listen to it. I needed a score before I went to bed, and I got it. North had won 37-36, in what had to be a huge defensive game. Indeed, the title of this entry was originally to be "Three words: Titanic defensive battle".

Then I got up this morning to check the newspaper writeup first. In the sports subsection of the Tribune's home page, the second headline is "Weber will coach despite mom's death". And that kills every buzz you've got going on. You don't need to know details, all you need to know is right there. On what should've been a huge night, one of your friends lost his mom.

The press has been centered around Bruce, as Illinois was in town for the Big Ten tournament. But my thoughts were of his brother Dave, who I've known since he came to North as an assistant coach in 1994. He's a great guy, he really is, and I feel just awful for him. I can only imagine how hard it is to focus on a game when you've just walked out of the hospital. And I can only imagine how hard it hits you when three or four hours later, they tell you she died just after you left, before the game you just won even started.

It was indeed one hell of a battle, that game. There was no scoring the last 4:09 of the game. Conant got two shots off in the last five seconds, trailing by a point, and neither fell. Go figure...
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Sign of the times...

Pat Forde wrote a very nice column about Bruce Weber and today's Illinois game. She noted a touching gesture from one of the fans, holding a sign as Bruce finally came out on the floor,
Saddened by your loss, inspired by your courage.

Illinois plays Wisconsin tomorrow at the United Center 2:30 Central for the Big Ten title.
Glenbrook North plays Waukegan Tuesday at Loyola University's Gentile Center at 7:30 Central for a trip to the state finals in Peoria.
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