A slow bleed. Southern Illinois didn't win pretty, but they pretty much neutralized both dimensions of Holy Cross' game. They were persistent, they never fell asleep, and withstood Holy Cross' beating underneath. Most of the game they were only up 5, 6, 7 points, but it felt like 13 or 14 points at times. This is one hell of a team - even without a single star, this team should be able to make the Sweet 16. Easily. Sadly it wasn't meant to be tonight. The shame is that Thomas and Simmons were shut down so thoroughly that they weren't really able to shine the way they had all year. Even when they did get open they seemed rattled and took bad shots. At the end, they were even missing foul shots. Game over. In a way, it stinks playing another big mid-major team since it's dissatisfying whether you win or lose. I see now that you want to take down a former national champion or storied member of the SEC, not a small school with thoughts of the Sweet 16.