Illini Legends, Lists and Lore | March 11

One-hundred-fifty years ago today — March 11, 1868 — the Illinois Industrial University (University of Illinois) celebrated its opening of nine days earlier with inaugural ceremonies. President John Milton Gregory, both members of his faculty, 77 students and a bevy of town folk gathered in a large hall on the third floor of University Hall, known by its moniker "The Elephant."

Asmussen: Martinez up there among the greats

Seedings were announced for the NCAA wrestling championships, scheduled next week in Cleveland.

Guess what? Illinois’ Isaiah Martinez is No. 1 at 165 pounds.

No surprise to the college wrestling community. Martinez is so dominant that he has made the incredible seem routine.

UI roundup | Illini land two wrestlers in finals

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Isaiah Martinez's appearance in the Big Ten Tournament finals was the closest thing to a foregone conclusion.

The same could not be said for Mike Carr.

Regardless, both will wrestle for titles today in East Lansing, Mich.

Illinois announces latest Hall of Fame class

The second Illinois athletics Hall of Fame class already featured Lou Henson.

That much was known when Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman announced last summer that Henson, the all-time winningest men’s basketball coach in Illinois history, would headline the latest class.

Cardani, Luffman repeat

CHAMPAIGN — On fresh footing, perhaps the maneuver would've worked. Maybe Centennial wrestler Justin Cardani could've landed a celebratory backflip without a hitch.

"A little off," Cardani said with a laugh. "I felt like I wanted to do it just because, but my legs were so tired, it was hard to get up there."

UI roundup: Martinez wins home finale at Huff Hall in Illini's loss

CHAMPAIGN — Isaiah Martinez's final match inside Huff Hall on Sunday was bittersweet.

Martinez did what he almost always does: He defeated the opponent in front of him. Illinois' 165-pounder dominated in fact, as Martinez won by major decision, claiming a 14-6 triumph over Wisconsin's Evan Wick.

But, the Badgers still spoiled the party.

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: D.J. Richardson

Happy 27th Birthday to Dietrich "D.J." Richardson (above). Recruited to Illinois to play basketball by Bruce Weber, Richardson played his final season in 2012-13 for John Groce.

Take a bow: Martinez's home curtain call with Illini is here

CHAMPAIGN— In March 2023, Isaiah Martinez will be eligible for the Illinois athletic Hall of Fame. Wrestling coach Jim Heffernan has a suggestion: Get the letter ready now.

"They should have a pre-stamped envelope arrive at his home, waiting for him," Heffernan said. "He's already one of the most successful athletes ever to be on this campus. In any sport. That's a fact."

UI roundup: Illini pull upset of Texas

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois women's tennis team broke a more than five-year drought, as the program collected its first win over a top-20 opponent since March 21, 2012.

Ironically enough, Texas fell victim to the Illini's last such upset. This time around, Illinois (4-1) upended the 11th-ranked Longhorns, 4-2, on Friday night at the Atkins Tennis Center.

VIDEO: Jock Jams

After Illinois golfer and Jock Jams host Dylan Meyer sent him a direct message on Twitt