Joe Vozzelli

Joe Vozzelli

Here comes the Madness: Four items to know for the NCAA women's tournament

SURPRISE, SURPRISE 

This is the first time since the 2012-13 season that Connecticut enters the NCAA tournament with more than one loss. But, UConn coach Geno Auriemma still had to be completely perplexed — as were most women's college basketball fans — when the Huskies didn't receive a No. 1 seed on Monday.

Fisher finds his own way at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN — A text message to an acquaintance on the Illinois baseball team was the start of Andy Fisher building the connection that led to him transferring to the Illini.

After two tough seasons at Eastern Illinois, Fisher wanted out.

Illini go out quickly in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — A hot-shooting start from Purdue? The Illinois women's basketball team weathered it.

Missing Alex Wittinger for extended periods of the first half due to foul trouble? No problem.

Confident Andrews reaches new heights for Illinois

INDIANAPOLIS — The belief Ali Andrews' teammates have had in her ability to be one of the better shooters on the Illinois women's basketball team has never wavered.

What's different about the 6-foot-2 junior forward out of Huntley High School, according to her teammates, is Andrews' willingness to shoot the ball and accept the result.

Rekindled family ties help UI's Scott rediscover passion

CHAMPAIGN — A little more than a year ago, Arieal Scott reached an important revelation.

The process of reconnecting with some members of her estranged family, specifically her biological mother, whom the former prep standout at Schlarman and Urbana hadn't talked to in 10 years, led to Scott meeting three of her siblings for the first time, including her 13-year-old brother, G'ron.

Progress still slow for Illinois women's basketball

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Nancy Fahey hasn't made time for any more postgame walks around her neighborhood.

Pieces fitting into place for Illinois baseball

CHAMPAIGN — Drew Dickinson sat in the dugout during Sunday's series finale at Florida Atlantic and might have been feeling a headache coming on.

The Illinois pitching coach's "brain was already fried" during the third inning of the Illini's eventual 11-10 victory over the Owls in 10 innings that completed a series sweep in Boca Raton, Fla.

Nittany Lions spoil final home farewell for Illini trio

CHAMPAIGN — Alex Wittinger shared a hug with Jaelyne Kirkpatrick, who was dressed in an orange pullover near the bench. Sarah Shewan, who was a few steps behind Wittinger, followed by also sharing an embrace with Kirkpatrick.

LIVE! Penn State at Illinois women

FINAL: Penn State 76, Illinois 65

An Illini comeback in the fourth quarter made the Nittany Lions sweat for a few minutes, but Penn State finished strong enough to spoil Illinois' Senior Day at State Farm Center.

Wittinger, fellow seniors expect emotional send-off

CHAMPAIGN — Late-night movies and impromptu dance-offs.

The videos still exist from these freshman year get-togethers when Jaelyne Kirkpatrick, Cierra Rice and Alex Wittinger lived together at Illini Tower.

Even now, four years later, the three of them will watch those videos from time to time, recalling the fun they had.

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