Different strokes for Hokies

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech vs. Illinois at 6:10 p.m. in Friday's first round of the NCAA tournament promises a contrast in styles and experience.

Illinois has several holdovers from the 2005 Final Four team and is making its eighth straight tourney appearance. Virginia Tech, which favors an uptempo style rarely employed by low-scoring Illinois, is making its first trip since 1996.

Anderson, Rowe fuel Illini victory

URBANA – Strong doubles play helped propel Illinois coach Brad Dancer's fifth-ranked men's tennis team past No. 29 Wisconsin 5-2 on Sunday.

The Illini, led by Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe, played outdoors for the first time this season and remained perfect in the Big Ten (3-0).

Letter rip

This week's comments from readers:

Grentz hoping for contract extension beyond next year

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois women's basketball coach Theresa Grentz would like to coach at Illinois beyond next season, the final one of her contract.

Whether that happens is up to athletic director Ron Guenther.

50 nifty facts

Staff writer and geography nut Tony Bleill offers an NCAA tourney fact from each state

Issues linger after Chief decision

The lawyers and politicians have been busy.

Since the university announced the end of the Chief Illiniwek era, UI lawyers have been busy reviewing trademark laws, as the university owns the Chief logo.

Polling place

1. Favorite Big Ten Arena:

Michigan State: 11111

Bleill: ... but predicting Illini's chances tougher

The Illinois women are considered long shots to see their name pop up on the television screen Monday night when the NCAA tournament bracket is revealed.

They're such a long shot that the team has no formal plans to get together to watch the show. But if nothing else, the selection committee this weekend will have to, at the least, consider Illinois.

Illini report card

Grading the Illini's loss to Wisconsin:

Hester sure Judson will bounce back

CHICAGO – On Saturday, Rob Judson became the latest former Illini assistant to lose his head coaching job. Northern Illinois fired Judson the day after Robert McCullum was released by South Florida.

"This was a difficult decision," Northern Illinois athletic director Jim Phillips said in a statement released by the school. "I am extremely proud of the leadership that Coach Judson has provided for our men's basketball program, as well as the manner in which he mentored, served and coached our student-athletes.