Tate: College game is full of surprises

Did Saturday mark the end of Illinois' fun run?

With parity overwhelming college basketball, and with 50 to 75 teams anticipating new and returning personnel comparable to Illinois next season, will Bruce Weber's extraordinary coaching skills keep the Illini ahead of the basketball pack?

Ask the expert

With Illinois eliminated from the NCAA tournament, what are The News-Gazette's basketball coverage plans in the coming weeks?

Who's that Illini?

I set the Big Ten record for career tackles in 1994, finishing my Illini tenure with 595 stops. A linebacker from East St. Louis, I became the first Illini football player to win a major national award when I was named the Butkus Award recipient in 1994. A consensus All-American that season, I went on to play three seasons in the NFL, including two with the Chicago Bears.

Lawhead leads Illini turnaround

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The first few days of the Capital Classic brought nothing but bad weather and even worse results for the Illinois softball team.

Then, things started to look up.

Farmers search for method to stop drug-related thefts

Turn on the lights! Get the tanks out in the open.

That's the message Champaign County sheriff's deputies have for suppliers of and farmers using anhydrous ammonia.

It's your business: Urbana man to publish family/kids directory

There he was, a retired guy standing around while his wife and daughter shopped in a children's clothing store in Tulsa, Okla.

And there they were, right in the store: a stack of colorful, purse-size directories advertising kid-friendly products and services in the Tulsa area.

Friedl charges to third

OKLAHOMA CITY – Pete Friedl's collegiate wrestling career came to a close with a third-place finish Saturday at the NCAA Championships.

After reaching the semifinals with a win against No. 3 Ben Wissel from Purdue on Friday, Friedl suffered his first loss of the event later that night, a 3-2 setback to Minnesota's Roger Kish.

Smith can't stomach late mistake

SAN DIEGO – His head was lowered. He shook it. A lot.

While the enduring image from the Illinois-Washington game for many will be Dee Brown's final three-point attempt, the last impression for Jamar Smith will be from 25 seconds earlier.

Who's that Illini?

I won 20 Big Ten titles in women's track and field between 1993 and '96, but the highlight of my career was winning back-to-back NCAA outdoor titles in the 400-meter hurdles. In all, I earned 14 All-America honors.

Brett's random thoughts

Bruce Weber told reporters after the game, relative to the officiating in Saturday's loss to Washington, "Write what you saw. Put it in the paper." So I'm going to do just that.