TATE: Big Ten in big tail spin

"Illinois is more vulnerable now than a month ago."

Northwestern coach Bill Carmody

Who's that Illini?

I own Illinois' school records in the 1,500 and the 3,000 meters in women's track, establishing both in 1984. My best finish in NCAA competition was a pair of eighths.

Ten questions for Jerry Colangelo

It seems everything Jerry Colangelo touches turns to gold. The former Illinois basketball captain turned the Phoenix Suns into a model NBA franchise, helped the Arizona Diamondbacks win a World Series and in the process gained some serious clout. Named the most influential sports figure in the state of Arizona for the 20th century, Colangelo now is in charge of selecting the players to win back Olympic gold for U.S. basketball in Beijing in 2008. He took time from his duties as managing director of USA Basketball Men's Senior National Program to chat with Sports Editor Jim Rossow:

This week's Big Ten basketball

Want to know which of the upcoming week's games are worth your time? Here's the scoop from sports editor Jim Rossow, who's thinking about pulling a Mike Davis after a disappointing 6-4 week:

Softball team swamped in desert

HENDERSON, Nev. – Oregon State scored eight runs in the third inning and cruised to a 15-7, five-inning softball victory against Illinois on Friday in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.

Jenna Hall had two doubles and Courtney Hoogeveen added two hits for the Illini. Hall drove in three runs.

Who's that Illini?

In 1996, I became the women's swimming program's first GTE-CoSIDA Academic All-American. My best event was the 50 butterfly, in which I own the UI school record. I also excelled in the 200 breast, where I'm fifth, and the 100 breast, where I stand fourth.

Reserve posts quality minutes for Illinois

EVANSTON – One of the most overlooked Illini women played a major role in Thursday's dramatic 60-59 victory against Northwestern.

Sophomore post Stephanie Chelleen, who had played 12 total minutes during the Big Ten season, played six key minutes for a struggling Illinois offense that needed all the help it could get.

UI women's basketball box score

Illini 60, Wildcats 59

Illini have one thing on their mind for Sunday's game — winning

CHAMPAIGN – On its own home court, in its next-to-last home game of the season, the Illinois basketball team is about to be overshadowed.

The Illini know it's coming.

Confidence, Gordon's play halt Illini skid

EVANSTON – The last four weeks have been the most brutal an Illinois women's basketball team has endured since 1988, when the Illini lost a school-record 11 consecutive games.

But even an eight-game losing skid, encompassing blowouts and heartbreakers, couldn't derail what has become a potent, undeniable fact of life in the Big Ten: Illinois has Northwestern's number.