To say that Illinois Fighting Illini and their head coach Bruce Weber have been struggling for the past couple weeks would be an understatement. And to say that their 80-57 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday was much worse than the score indicates tell you just how bad things have gotten.
It's the fifth-straight loss for the Illini and eighth of their last nine. It's also their fifth straight Big Ten road loss.
At one point during the first-half, Illinois led 24-16. Nebraska then commenced a 50-12 run that blew out the Illini and turned this one into a laugher, though not the kind many would have thought.
It was as recently as Jan. 10 that the Illini were 15-3, 4-1 in the Big Ten, and seemed on their way to another solid season. Since then, the bottom has dropped out and Bruce Weber's job looks to be in serious peril.
After the game, Weber spoke to the media using the kind of broad-stroke terms that drive home just how defeated he and the team are at this point:
"The weight of the world is on our shoulders, and it just caved us in...it was..a snowball going, and it didn't stop...I'm so proud of them. I've enjoyed coaching them..If you went in that locker room you'd know that they care...We've got great kids. They care, we care, we've just gotta keep fighting, that's all we can do...they were making shots that they haven't made. Our kids did not quit. There's a lot of tears in the locker room."
To drive that final point home, Tom Dienhard tweeted about those tears and how they started before the Illini even made it into the locker room.