Illini pair off to regionals

   Junior Jana Gallagher and freshman Ashley Williams were selected to represent Illinois on April 6 in the NCAA South Central women''s gymnastics regional at Tempe, Ariz.

   Gallagher is making her third regional trip, qualifying for the second straight season in the all-around.

Self will feel a bit lonely at Final Four

   CHAMPAIGN  Bill Self is going to the Final Four.

   He only wishes he was traveling with more company.

Illini makes most of second chance

   CHAMPAIGN  There probably isn''t a more grateful recruit on the Illinois baseball roster than Brett Wicker.

   On Sunday, the junior college transfer delivered the first of what he hopes will be many paybacks to his new team for the chance to keep playing.

Departing Illini players leave a hole

   If the horizon appears a little darker today, there is a reason. - Kansas still is playing, and Illinois isn''t ... like most years.

   Erratic shooting fouled a grand UI opportunity, and with Friday''s 73-69 defeat go 5,040 career points and 2,110 rebounds from departing veterans Frank Williams, Cory Bradford, Robert Archibald, Damir Krupalija and Lucas Johnson.

Illini Roundup: Big Ten tips hat to Illini freshman

   Illinois'' Ashley Williams placed third in the all-around and was named Freshman of the Year at the Big Ten women''s gymnastics meet Saturday at Columbus, Ohio. Williams scored 39.125 in the all-around and placed sixth in the uneven bars (9.825) to earn all-conference honors in both events.

   Amanda Kaufman tied a season high with a 9.800 in the vault for the Illini, who finished in sixth place. Jana Gallagher had a 9.800 in both the floor exercise and balance beam, and Michelle Buranich had a 9.725 in the uneven bars and floor.

UI´s Lackey meets goal until the last second

   ALBANY, N.Y.  Matt Lackey usually takes a few weeks off after each wrestling season.

   But don''t be surprised to see the Illini junior in the gym Monday morning.

Family''s proud athletic heritage gives Ward a competitive edge

   CHAMPAIGN  Think Dustin Ward isn''t up for the Illinois quarterback challenge?

   Then you don''t know what he has to do to be the best athlete ... in his family.

Illinois AD always looking to future

   His athletic program is ranked among the Top 20 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Ten years after taking over at Illinois, Ron Guenther has built the buildings and the teams. And he has some ideas about the future, too. News-Gazette staff writer Bob Asmussen sat down with Guenther during the Midwest Regional and got his thoughts on basketball, Bill Self and the Assembly Hall:

   NG: Illinois has won a Big Ten title in football. A Big Ten title in basketball. Another Sweet 16. What does the school do for an encore?

UI plays well at end, still disappointed

   MADISON, Wis.  He welcomed the expectations.

   Sure, Bill Self thought they were a little off, thought his team was being overrated early, its lofty preseason perch little more than a byproduct of last season''s success.

Illini freshman quick success story

   CHAMPAIGN  As a recruit torn between two schools, Drew Davidson made an increasingly nervous Illinois coaching staff wait on his decision almost until the stroke of midnight.

   As a freshman left fielder, Drew Davidson is wasting no time showing why Itch Jones & Co. so coveted his baseball skills.