In an uplifiting ending to a pathetic season, my Illini sent the seniors off with a win against Minnesota. Chris Hicks fired up the crowd with a three at the buzzer. The Chief made a brief appearance during the half time chiefless chief dance - entered at one side of the hall, raised his arms up during the Chief dance music and while the crowd sang 'Hail to the orange,hail to the blue', walked down the balcony and exited. The crowd was thrilled to see him one more time.
The seniors all got emotional and made a speech at the end. Randle was fighting back tears, reflecting on the years and the season. Pruitt made a reference to the Indiana game and thanked the people who stuck with him anyway. And Chris Hicks, the walk-on, said it was his dream come true to wear the Illinois uniform and practice with these guys.
It was an emotional ending to a frustrating season. It made us realize what these are college kids, and what really matters is that we got to play and watch basketball together, that we were sharing the experience of a life time with these players.
Thank you, seniors, you did work your heart out for this team, things just didn't go our way this season. Thank you for the memories, good or bad.... we were in it together.
Good night, and good luck in the Big Ten tourney!