CHAMPAIGN — Home was where the wins were for No. 17 Illinois’ baseball team.
The Illini (18-5-1) completed their nine-game homestand with a 9-4 victory against Kent State on Wednesday at Illinois Field, going 7-2.
A week after staff writer Bob Asmussen put his NCAA tournament picks in the paper, we are giving him a second chance. (Note to Bob: Iowa State will not be in the finals as you originally projected).
Here are Asmussen’s picks for the Sweet 16, which starts Thursday night:
Notre Dame vs. Wichita State
6:15 p.m., CBS
PEORIA — Nick Rakocevic’s long arms seemed to be raised skyward most of last Saturday afternoon — either celebrating a big play by his eventual Class 3A state champion Westchester St. Joseph teammates or encouraging the Chargers fans in the crowd to make a little more noise.
WHY NO. 3?
Four-year starters Leah Williams and Rachel Tobeck are experienced veterans and among the solid hitters returning for coach Ken Ingold’s Bunnies, who won a Class 1A regional title last year.
MAHOMET — There have been Mahomet-Seymour boys’ basketball teams with more wins in a season.
There was a team from the school that qualified for state, losing in the quarterfinals to a Harvey Thornton squad in 1933, led by freshman Lou Boudreau, that went on to win the state championship.
John Groce is still committed to the process he's embarking on at Illinois despite a disappointing end to the 2014-15 season.
Beat writer Marcus Jackson is in tune with what the Illini will hone in on as the offseason gets going in full swing soon once Illinois resumes classes next week after spring break ends.
For 22 years, Jim Sheppard served as the Illini's popular P.A. announcer at basketball games, phrases like "Deeeeee for Threeeeee!" resonating with the Assembly Hall crowds.