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.

Tate: No shine to the finish

SAN DIEGO – Bruce Weber called Saturday a microcosm of the season.

The highs and lows, the ups and downs, a plethora of different emotions as the Illini overachieved and underachieved.

Guest of honor

Enough of the sports writers. Each time Illinois plays in the NCAA tournament, we'll have a News-Gazette writer outside the sports department break down the game. Today's guest: Opinions Page Editor, Cubs fan and scratch golfer Tom Kacich:

By the numbers

A numerical look at the Illinois-Washington game:

Jones starts fast at outdoor opener

COLUMBIA, S.C. – After a strong indoor season, coach Wayne Angel's Illinois men's track and field squad is duplicating the effort outdoors.

Senior Abe Jones took first place in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking a regional-qualifying time of 51.52 seconds Saturday at the Weems Baskins Relay.

Upon further review

A four-part look back at Saturday's Illinois-Washington game courtesy News-Gazette staff writer Tony Bleill:

Mezydlo: CBS fares well with farewell

It was short, a little sweet, but certainly justified. Maybe had the game been a blowout, maybe with a little more preparation, CBS could have given more of a farewell to Illinois seniors Dee Brown and James Augustine.

But when a game is that tight, coming down to the final seconds like the Illini's 67-64 loss to Washington in the second round of the NCAA tournament did Saturday, it's hard to have something big ready to go. Instead, CBS offered extended shots of Brown and Augustine shaking the hands of Washington players, then both walking away with their heads down.

Asmussen: Don't count next year out just yet

SAN DIEGO – One year, you make the title game. The next, you're a top- four seed and come oh-so-close to a third consecutive Sweet 16.

With your two senior stars moving on to pro basketball, the outside expectations are going to fall. Big.