Women's Basketball

Women's Basketball

Bleill: Pick this field right, go to Vegas

   Selecting the field for the women''s NCAA tournament always is a much bigger pain in the you-know-what than picking the winners after the field has been determined. And it''s much more tedious and difficult.

   As much as a crapshoot as it can be predicting winners, it''s not nearly as hard as deciphering what might be going through the minds of the selection committee, which can pick almost randomly among a handful of teams for the final spot. Each is worthy, each deserving, and God only knows what the final criteria will be.

Fantastic foursome has secured the Big Ten''s future

   INDIANAPOLIS  As a whole, the Big Ten is enjoying one of its strongest seasons in recent memory, with as many as 10 teams in the running for postseason berths.

   But what really gets league members excited is the conference''s future. It rests ably in the hands of four outstanding sophomores, perhaps the best group of second-year players the league has ever seen.

Big Ten tourney insider

   Indiana center Jill Chapman had a Senior Day she''ll never forget. And if she does, her husband will give her a hard time.

UI has time to reflect until WNIT calls

   INDIANAPOLIS  If anyone can empathize with what the Illinois women''s basketball team is enduring, it is Michigan coach Sue Guevara.

   Her team started 10-1 then lost six of seven to quickly fall out of the Big Ten race. With Thursday''s opening-round 83-63 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse, the Illini have dropped seven of eight and are wobbling toward the finish line.

Missed opportunities cost Illini

   INDIANAPOLIS  Not that the Illinois women needed any more surprises, but Thursday''s 20-point loss against Michigan offered another: The sharp-shooting Illini couldn''t throw a beach ball in the ocean.

   Illinois led the Big Ten and ranks 10th nationally in field goal percentage at 47.5 percent. Against Michigan, the Illini shot a season-low 30 percent, missing 24 of their first 31 shots.

UI Women''s Basketball Game 27 Box Score

Wolverines 83, Illini 63

Big Ten tournament schedule

A look at the Big Ten womens basketball tournament this week in Indianapolis:

Big Ten awards

   A look at the All-Big Ten womens honors handed out Tuesday:

New format, venue please teams; four Illini honored

   INDIANAPOLIS  After a one-year journey to Michigan, the Big Ten women''s basketball tournament has returned to Indianapolis, and rest assured the conference participants are happy about it.

   But for at least six teams, that move is only mildly appeasing compared to this year''s new format. For those six, who must play in the tourney''s opening round Thursday, they will not have to win four games in four days to earn an automatic NCAA tournament berth.

Ex-Illini Faulkner finds comfort zone

   IOWA CITY, Iowa  Kristi Faulkner''s college career numbers 58 games, but the first against her old teammates was one of the toughest.

   The former Illini, who departed for Iowa after one season, started at guard Sunday and helped the Hawkeyes to a 79-71 win against the UI. She had eight points on 3-of-9 shooting with two three-pointers, five rebounds, three assists and five turnovers in 31 minutes.