UI''s rally refreshing reminder

CHAMPAIGN  If they hadn''t endured such a torturous Big Ten season last winter, Thursday''s Illinois victory against Indiana might not have meant quite so much. But given the agony that marked their recent past  when the Illini wore down in

Script for success

If Illinois, which won its Big Ten opener Thursday, is to contend for its first league title since 1996-97, it would help to accomplish the following things: * Survive a rugged five-game stretch in late January with at least two wins. The

Colangelo headlines former Illini reunion

CHAMPAIGN  Bill Self''s young Illini are about to get a history lesson. Illinois will host a hoops reunion next weekend, welcoming former players back to the Assembly Hall for a Jan. 11 date with Wisconsin. Among the former players tentatively scheduled to attend a reception on Friday and Saturday''s Illini-Badgers game are: Bill Altenberger, Doug Altenberger, Steve Bardo, Ted Beach, Irv Bemoras, Kevin Bontemps, Bruce Douglas, Dave Downey, Chris Gandy, Mannie Jackson, Phil Judson,

Grading the Big Ten ¬

Iowa''s loss Thursday dropped the Big Ten to 4-2 this bowl season, with Ohio State left. Bob Asmussen, who covers college football for The News-Gazette, grades each team''s effort, from top to bottom: WISCONSIN None of the Big Ten bowl

Big Ten gap growing from top to bottom

Less than one year ago, talk surrounding the Big Ten women''s basketball scene centered on the strength of the league''s lower half. With six teams earning NCAA tournament bids and three more participating in the National Invitation Tournament,

Orange Bowl capsule

N-G staff writer Bob Asmussen says: Southern Cal 31, Iowa 21. The Heisman winner (Palmer) against the guy who deserved the award (Banks). Both teams ended the season playing great, Iowa winning nine in a row and Southern Cal seven straight.

Of dunking, advertising and seeding

We see it virtually every day in the sporting arena. A team somewhere will play hard, but won''t win. Elsewhere, a team puts in a lackadaisical effort, but scores a win. Sports are not always fair. We must accept it because we can''t change it.

Former area players in the NBA

A daily glance at The News-Gazette area''s finest: * ROBERT ARCHIBALD (Illinois), Memphis Grizzlies: Did not play against Boston * BRIAN CARDINAL (Unity), Washington Wizards: Did not play against San Antonio * KEON CLARK (Danville),

The final report

There weren''t many above-average performances for the Chicago Bears during their season in Champaign. The team was hit hard by injuries and an ineffective offense and run-stopping defense. Staff writer Jeff Mezydlo hands out his final grades for the season: OFFENSE Injuries to the offensive line and the quarterback position didn''t make things easy, but even when the team was healthy they were ineffective. Running back Anthony Thomas was a major bust in his second season, and the team is

Limping Illini find first aid in Harrington

Necessity is often the mother of invention. So Monday night, when unfortunate injuries sidelined Luther Head and Roger Powell, Illini coach Bill Self was obliged to give his senior "zone buster," Sean Harrington, his first start of the season. It was a perfect fit. Harrington turned Coppin State into Coffin State with six three-pointers in eight tries, combining with Brian Cook for 38 points in a 63-37 triumph. Thus, the Illini