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Illini Basketball

A Moment in Madison

In this post, I hope you’ll watch and enjoy a low-quality video.

I was surprised that no one watched Ayo’s Biggest Moment when I first uploaded it, moments after it happened.

Were Illini fans asleep? It was 10-ish of the clock in the Midwest, so you never know. But this was a BIG DEAL

No.

Illini fans, like all fans, are somewhat interested in what happens & what happened. They pay money to read fantasy fiction about Glory That Might Happen.

There are fewer views of Rayvonte Rice’s Braggin’ Rights game-winner than Francis Okoro’s minute-nineteen of yeah, I like Illinois; no I haven’t made any decisions yet.

None of that was the problem.

When I got back to Illinois, I realized what had happened. YouTube had blocked Ayo’s Magic Moment worldwide because a popular song was playing over the Kohl Center public address system.

I’d deleted the raw file from my phone before I got to the Wisconsin media room. I needed the space for postgame interviews.

Unfortunately, while YouTube offers Creators the ability to download videos of their own making, only a compressed version is available. So I grabbed the 69MB version, silenced the pop song, slo-mo’ed the key moments, and re-uploaded.

It’s fuzzy. But it captures Ayo’s two buckets. Way at the other end of the court, you can barely see the rebound he ripped from all contenders — an underappreciated moment of this incredible finish.

Giorgi’s 14-foot free-throw is there. Alan’s threes are not. Frankly, before he hit them, it didn’t seem likely that Illinois might win. Like DJ Richardson’s 8-point spree in the closing moments against #1 Indiana, Alan’s contribution to Illinois’ Proclamation of Return will likely get overlooked as time goes by.

The best part, in my opinion, is the joy and relief on the faces of Jamarra and Quam. They’ve traveled the globe following their sun (sic). Italy and Maui had some scenery. B1G towns all hold some form of charm.*

But until this Moment in Madison, Ayo hadn’t slain Goliath in a consequential game. Yes, the 2019 Illini beat MSU. They won at Columbus. They showed promise of things to come. But 12-21 impresses zero scouts.

The NBA wants winners. That’s why all five starters from 2005 got an NBA contract. Madison was Ayo’s entrée as consequential performer on the national stage.

Anyway, here’s a crappy video of A Moment Which Will Live In Your Memory. You will enjoy it, probably more than once.

*except West Lafayette.**

** It has an XXX-rated burger joint, though.

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