Sunday, December 12, 2004

Wha, Did Someone Step On A Duck?

Yes. It was Chief Illiniwek.

The Oregon Ducks can return to Eugene proud that they made a statement regarding Chief Illiniwek and their opposition to his ... reign of terror ... or weapons of mass destruction ... or whatever.

On the United Center floor, however, the message was quite different. There the message was, "More orange sauce for your duck, Mr. Head?" As has become their MO in most games, the Illini put Oregon away before the first TV timeout -- Deron Williams' two free throws at 16:47 put the Illini up 12-2, and the game was effectively over. All five starters scored in double figures, and the team rifled the nets at a 58% clip.

On the other end, Oregon looked as befuddled as anyone by having to carry the Illini around in their shirts all day -- although they did manage to get the FG% above 40% (40.4% to be exact). To be fair, the Ducks are very young -- and Freshman forward Malik Hairston sure looks to be a star on the rise -- but this one was never in doubt as the Illini extend their winning streak in these Christmas in Chicago games to 10. And for the first time in a while, the UC game was a sellout. Given the paucity of other sports options in this town, this may finally be the year that Chicago truly embraces the Illini.


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