Friday, March 19, 2010
Billy's trip to Milwaukee was very quick as the Panthers made a first round exit from the Women's NIT during a loss at Marquette. EIU finished off a solid season winning the school's first OVC regular-season championship and advancing to post-season for the first time since 1988.
All solid accomplishments for a team that will return quite a few key players for next season. In the game sophomore Madeline Kish made some key outside shots while the Panthers received solid minutes from freshmen Sydney Mitchell, Ta'Kenya Nixon and Kelsey Wyss.
The Al McGuire center was pretty much as expected, a nice 4,000 seat arena that housed many extras. The complex had a nice walk of champions honoring the legendary coach and a couple of Dwyane Wade tributes sprinkled in. The one thing it seemed to miss on the day that NCAA March Madness started was a tribute to Al McGuire dancing at center court.
Kudos to the EIU women's basketball team on another successful season as the Panthers won 20-plus games for the second staight season finishing at 23-11.
Kudos to OVC member Murray State for their memorable first round win over Vanderbilt. Maybe this will help encourage the Panther Nation to come to Lantz when the Panthers host Murray State next season.
Kudos to the OVC overall for moving the entire OVC Tournament to Nashville starting with the 2011 championship.
Up next baseball and softball.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Happy Day After St. Paddy's Day as Billy Panther heads off to the land of cheddar for the Panthers first round Women's NIT game at Marquette. Okay so it's more the land of beer and brats since Milwaukee if not exactly what people picture when you mention you are heading to Wisconsin.
Unfortunately Billy will be traveling incognito as the real "Billy" is probably off in Ft. Lauderdale or Panama City as Eastern Illinois is on spring break this week. Hopefully with a Panther win, Billy will return armed and ready for the winner of the Western Kentucky/Illinois game.
Friday's blog will give a recap of the game, our impression of the Al McGuire Center and maybe a few funs things to do in the other forgotten big city on Lake Michigan. Our hope is that Marquette maybe has some sort of Sausage Race like the do at Brewers games.
Safe travels to anyone making the trip and for those who do not you can listen live at www.weiuhitmix.net starting at 6:45 p.m. (Central)
Sunday, March 7, 2010
To quote an old Hank Williams Song "There's a tear in my beer", Billy Panther did not have a very good day on Saturday at the OVC Basketball Tournament as he watched the Panthers fall in the women's championship game.
However all is not lost as the Panthers had a wonderful season and will still be playing in about ten days as the Women's NIT is just around the corner. EIU secured a bid into its first post-season tournament since the 1988 season when the Panthers made their lone appearance to date in the NCAA Tournament.
The Women's NIT bracket will be announced late Monday night, Monday - March 15. While the destination is still up in the air some possible first round NIT opponents are Eastern Michigan and Kent State from the MAC, Missouri State and Bradley from the Missouri Valley, Marquette from the Big East, Illinois and Northwestern from the Big Ten just to name a few.
No matter which destination calls, look for Billy to give you an update on that post-season trip as well.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Well Panther Nation Billy is a little tired after working two EIU basketball games today. Both teams had hard fought battles with the men just coming up short.
What an atmosphere at The Sommet (scratch that) Bridgestone Arena this evening. Panthers all short against No. 1 seed Murray State, 55-51.
Maybe an outside chance that the CBI post-season basketball tournament, but only time will tell on that one.
One good side note, Billy did make his appearance at the World Famous Tootsie's singing a song with former EIU linebacker and budding country music star Jake Maurer.
Can't wait to see what Saturday holds. Panther women take on Austin Peay at 3 p.m. for the OVC championship. Maybe Saturday's Billy photo op will be cutting down the net.
Billy Panther hit the Nashville streets early on Friday morning as he was awake and in the newly named Bridgestone Arena for both the EIU women's and men's basketball shoot arounds this morning.
On the way to the Arena he made a quick photo op stop at the corner of Broadway where many of the Nashville Music joints are located.
Billy watched EIU's women's team pick up a hard fought 65-51 win over UT Martin as they advanced to their third straight OVC Conference Championship game.
EIU will play Austin Peay for the second straight season with hopes that the NCAA theme song One Shining Moment is playing following Saturday's 3 p.m. showdown instead of Last Train To Clarksville.
Tune in later today for Billy's adventure for the men's game versus Murray State.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
EIU is headed to Nashville for the OVC Tournament and mascot Billy Panther will be making the trip. Here is a quick update on Billy's Day One Adventure.
Billy decided to travel in the trunk of the car on the way down to Nashville and we made a quick stop to let him out at McCallister's Deli.
On the trip down Billy noticed Metropolis - home to Superman and decided to make a quick stop for a photo op.
Then it was on to Nashville where after hitting the OVC Awards Ceremony to watch EIU pick up some hardware at 6:30 p.m. he decided to take in the Nashville Predators game.
More to come on Saturday as the Panthers look to pick up a couple of OVC Tournament semifinal wins.