Down goes No. 1: A look back

Down goes No. 1: A look back

2004
Volleyball
Illinois 3, USC 2

The Illini’s first win against a top-ranked team — before a revved-up crowd of 2,969 at Huff Hall — ended USC’s NCAA-record 52-match winning streak. “There were so many people here, and all of them were so into the game. It was just amazing,” UI outside hitter Rachel VanMeter said.

2004
Men’s basketball
Illinois 91, Wake Forest 73

The win propelled Dee Brown & Co. to No. 1, where they stayed until the NCAA title game. “Hopefully we’re one of those teams that are going to make some noise come March,” Brown said.

2007
Football
Illinois 28, Ohio State 21

Remember Ron Zook’s gutsy fourth-down call, which Juice Williams converted? “Juice kind of grabbed me and said, ‘I will get you an inch,’ ” Zook said. “I said, ‘You better.’ ”

2011
Volleyball
Illinois 3, USC 2

Final Four win by Kevin Hambly’s Illini set up a title match date with another beach power, UCLA, at San Antonio’s Alamodome. “It’s surreal. I’m just really still just taking it in,” Illini freshman Liz McMahon said.

2013
Men’s basketball
Illinois 74, Indiana 72

Tyler Griffey’s wide-open layup at the buzzer capped a huge rally by the Illini, who entered 2-7 in the Big Ten. Said John Groce: “We´ve played some good games and lost. Tonight we played with toughness and togetherness, and I would have said the same thing if we had lost at the end.”
 

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