Men's Basketball

Men's Basketball

Brown, Williams'' time together coming to a head

CHAMPAIGN – He has been asked the question (like most questions these days) more than once, and Dee Brown is quick to answer.

Yes, he has considered that he is about to begin his last weekend with Deron Williams as a teammate.

Planning ahead

Here are the celebration plans for the Illini basketball team:

What a site to see

News-Gazette staff writer Brett Dawson ranks the top destinations for the NCAA men''s Final Four:

Wooden it be nice?

Dee Brown and Deron Williams are on the 10-man John Wooden All-America team, released Tuesday. Brown also is among the five finalists for the Wooden Award, presented to college basketball''s top player April 9. The Wooden All-Americans (Wooden Award finalists in bold):

That other round ball

St. Louis is a baseball town, but there have been some pretty good men''s college basketball games played in the Gateway to the West. Here''s a look at 10 of the best (listed in chronological order):

Building blocks in place for future

ST. LOUIS – When great sports towns are mentioned, invariably St. Louis is included in any discussion.

The city''s fervor for its beloved baseball Cardinals is renowned. Once deserted by the NFL, the Gateway to the West has enthusiastically embraced the transplanted football Rams as its own. The hockey Blues long have been one of the hottest tickets in town, the team playing to at least 92 percent seating capacity every season except one since 1989-90 (before this season''s owners'' lockout).

On the ball

Sports editor Jim Rossow''s three reasons we love the NCAA tournament:

We got the beat (writers)

The News-Gazette asked beat writers who cover all four Final Four teams to weigh in on their chances to cut down the nets Monday in St. Louis. Here are their reactions:

Who''s that Illini?

My teammates nicknamed me "Junior," and I was MVP of the Illini basketball team my junior season (1944-45). I was a unanimous first-team all-star that year. After two years in the Army, I returned to Illinois in 1947 to play with the Whiz Kids. I played high school ball at Mount Vernon and am a member of the IBCA Hall of Fame. As a 6-3 guard, I played four years of NBA ball. I then became a prep coach, serving at Harvard and Salem high schools in Illinois, then later at Dubuque High in Iowa. That's where my wife and I reside today.

Alford: Illini have edge

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Only one guy has played each Final Four school this season. And he thinks the one from Champaign-Urbana is going to win it.

Illinois is the national title pick of Iowa coach Steve Alford, who beat two of the teams advancing to St. Louis and took Illinois to overtime.