Sports

Sports

Former Illini grabs gold

Former Illinois track and field star Perdita Felicien won the 60-meter hurdles gold medal Sunday at the 2004 World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The Pickering, Ontario, native finished in 7.75 seconds to edge American sprinting legend Gail Devers, who finished second in 7.78.

Gleeful Illini faithful party like it''s 1952

SAVOY – It was a celebration 52 years in the making, and Illinois fans did it up right Sunday night when welcoming home their Big Ten Conference champion Illinois men''s basketball team.

"Fifty-two years is a long time, but we finally pulled it off," Illinois junior guard Luther Head told a spirited crowd – estimated by one Flightstar charter company official to be about 1,500 people – that flocked to Willard Airport after the Illini clinched the title outright for the first time since 1952 with a 64-63 victory against Ohio State.

Tate: Illinois'' horizon packed to brim in coming days

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dee Brown, meet Clive Follmer! James Augustine, shake hands with Johnny "Red" Kerr!

Brown, Augustine and the sophomore-led Illini made their mark in history Sunday, building a 17-point lead and hanging on to nip Ohio State 64-63 for the school''s first undisputed Big Ten basketball championship since the Kerr era in 1952.

Illini players breathe sigh of relief after last-second play doesn''t draw a whistle

COLUMBUS, Ohio – James Augustine kept his hands up, his ears open and his fingers crossed for the last 6.2 seconds of Sunday''s 64-63 win at Ohio State.

After Deron Williams missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Ohio State''s Terence Dials grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball up to Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, who darted into the lane looking for the winning bucket.

LetterRIP

We asked our online readers to compare this season''s Illinois basketball team with the school''s recent Big Ten champions. Some responses:

''Relieved'' Illini basking in glory of league title

COLUMBUS, Ohio – He hasn''t stopped to catch his breath during this dizzying season, hasn''t come up for air since he dove into a new job 10 months ago.

And so it happens that Bruce Weber only recently got around to signing his first contract at Illinois.

The highlight zone

The Big Ten''s irregular regular season ends today, and though they say it was a down year in the league, there''s plenty to talk about. The News-Gazette''s Brett Dawson and Jim Rossow take a look back, including a glimpse at how Dawson probably will vote on his All-Big Ten ballot, due Monday:

Tate: UI can usher in a new era of success

For those who followed Illini athletics in 1952, championships seemed almost routine, almost automatic.

Eight men''s teams ruled the Big Ten in one school year. For opponents, Huff Hall was a House of Horrors. And Kenney Gym was worse.

Grentz, Illini at the crossroads

CHAMPAIGN – On the face of it, Illinois'' women''s basketball program has been here before.

It was a decade ago, to be precise. In 1994-95, the Illini posted a 10-win season and 10th-place Big Ten finish.

Sky high

Eleven-thousand feet into turbulent air, Bruce Weber is at peace.

His cellular phone, a constant, chirping companion, catches a few rare moments of sleep.