CBS announcers provide constant ribbing

Not sure if you know this, but Duke''s Chris Duhon has badly bruised ribs.

By my count, CBS'' Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery mentioned the ailment 149 times during Friday''s games. There were as many references as there were ribs in the Georgia Dome.

Brown''s injury a real pain

ATLANTA – The fact that Dee Brown played 39 minutes with cramps and a bum leg was no shocker to his teammates. But learning the true nature of his lower right leg injury was a bit of a surprise.

Illinois coach Bruce Weber said Brown has been suffering from a stress fracture and has been playing through it the past month.

By the numbers

Duke 72

Illinois 62

What''s happening

The NCAA tournament regional isn''t the only thing on the minds of the people of Atlanta. News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Mezydlo shares what else is going on in the city of peaches.

Tate: Duke''s inside stuff leaves Illini on the outside

ATLANTA – An excellent Illini basketball season ended Friday night just like a bad football season.

In November, Northwestern found a simple idea that worked, ran the ball on every second-half play and pounded the UI into the Memorial Stadium turf.

UI Men''s Basketball Game 33 Box Score

Duke 72

Illinois 62

Postcard from Atlanta: I''m marching to the sea

It was another gorgeous day in Atlanta. So if your sump pump still is running back in Champaign-Urbana, you probably don''t want to read the rest of this.

We started the day by driving downtown to pick up photographer John Dixon. Aside from every street being called Peachtree something, there''s not a straight road in this city. You would have thought they could have laid it out better after Gen. William T. Sherman gave them a second chance.

UI Roundup: Butcher delivers in win

LeeAnn Butcher went 3 for 3 and scored a run Friday to lead Illinois to a 3-2 softball victory against Brigham Young at the Stanford Classic in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Illini (19-10-1) lost 4-0 to Hawaii in their second game of the day, falling victim to a two-hit shutout by Shannon Tabion.

Family gets Matta''s point again

ATLANTA – When Jim Matta gets a chance to watch his brother, Rich, play the trumpet in Las Vegas, he considers it one of the best moments of his life – from a nonathletic standpoint.

Athletics are a huge part of the Hoopeston resident''s life.

Fans think positive as Illinois'' season comes to close

ATLANTA – It was nearly five hours before the Illinois-Duke game tipped off, but Mike Bordes, Mike Landuyt and Tim Coffey already were in their seats at the Georgia Dome.

"We just want to be part of the atmosphere," said Bordes, a 13-year-old from Arlington Heights. "We''ve never seen Illinois in the tournament before."