Illini Basketball

Getting the Word Out

Remember to give away your tickets.

Brad Underwood got up and walked out of the Dennis and Katharine Swanson Media Room, just like he always does after the last answer to the last question of a live, pre-game press conference.

And then he turned around and walked back in, reminded that this Snowmaggedon Wisconsin tilt would feature an extra element of excitement: meteorology.

“Where do you want me?” he asked Courtney Bay, the new-ish Illini Director of Branding and Creative Media. They made a brief video, in which he implored Illini fans to sell or donate their tickets to other Illini fans, who might be able to get through mountains of snow and ice by 8 PM tonight.

It seemed kinda weird, but perhaps only if you’d been in the room forty minutes earlier, trying to prod official spokespersons into offering official statements about parking, snow removal, etc. Perhaps they’d been advised against such statements, for liability purposes.

It appears that there will be a game tonight, and that Johnny Davis, Tyler Wahl and Brad Davison will be a part of it, as will Andre Curbelo & Kofi Cockburn.

The outcome might figure prominently in National Player of the Year voting.

It might also determine the 2022 B1G basketball champion. That’s worth trudging through the snow, isn’t it?

But it made me wonder just how effective a Twitter message might be, compared to traditional media. And then I “fell down the rabbit hole” as people liked to say in 2021.

IlliniMBB has enough followers on Twitter that retweeting the @CoachUnderwood video might. effectively, get the message out. And most of them will likely understand the Prince & the Revolution-esque wording.

But just for the record, Illinois has the seventh-most followers among B1G schools.

  • Indiana – five national championships – 1M Followers
  • Michigan State – Flintstones national champions – 454.5K Followers
  • Michigan – 1989 national champions … grrrrrr – 343K Followers
  • Wisconsin – a scrappy group, with moxie – 307.7K Followers
  • Iowa – ineffective champions, 1980 Final Four – 167.7K Followers
  • Maryland – 1 national championship – 154.3K Followers
  • Illinois – Sean Higgins, Sean May – 143.6K Followers
  • Ohio State – 1 natty (black people included) – 139.7K Followers
  • Purdue – most championships in B1G history – 127.8K Followers
  • Nebraska – Eric Piatkowski, Wally Szczerbiak – 115K Followers
  • MN – vacated 1997 season still better than recent years – 57.3K Followers
  • Penn State – we’re across the street at the skating rink – 36.1K Followers
  • Rutgers – still played in the Atlantic 10 in 1995 – 30.1K Followers
  • Northwestern – they beat Rutgers! – 20.4K Followers