Asmussen's postcard from San Diego

I was at a basketball game and an episode of "24" broke out. I kept waiting late Thursday morning for Jack Bauer to storm Cox Arena with a "tact team." No such luck. And no signs of our hero with the forever-charged cellphone.

The plan today was to write all about Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres and the World Baseball Classic finals. That's me lounging outside the stadium, which has to rank among the best in the nation. Nestled near the water and the Gaslamp district (isn't everything), Petco used the buildings nearby to create a cozy atmosphere.

Alex Tirapelle sets school record; team out of title contention

OKLAHOMA CITY – Alex Tirapelle became the all-time winningest wrestler at Illinois on Thursday.

But the senior was in no mood to celebrate. Not with his team out of the running at the NCAA Championships. And not with a quarterfinal match against Lehigh's Derek Zinc on tap today.

Illinois freshman makes the most of first tourney shot

SAN DIEGO – He didn't want to rain on his freshman's postseason coronation parade, and yet the coach in Bruce Weber thought things were getting out of hand.

So in what had turned into a shootout against Air Force, Weber shouted to Jamar Smith, "Be patient!"

Sights and sounds

He looks a bit older than during his coaching days. Bill Frieder has what he calls "a face for radio."

That's a good thing because Frieder is serving as an analyst on Westwood One's radio coverage from the San Diego site.

Asmussen: West Coast suits Midwesterner

He'll be wearing purple tonight. Proudly.

But under a different set of circumstances, and with a bit more foresight, Justin Dentmon could be wearing orange. The popped- out jersey with the "Illinois" across the front.

UI women's basketball box score

Illini 58, Westerwinds 37

Pummer rates weekly award

PARK RIDGE – Illinois senior Adam Pummer was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week after taking home the all-around title with a 54.450 mark and leading his team past Army last weekend.

UI's Carter keeping close eye on brother

SAN DIEGO – For the second consecutive week, Illinois forward Warren Carter will be paying attention to another basketball venue.

Last weekend, it was the Big 12 tournament in Dallas, where his brother Josh was playing for Texas A&M. On Saturday, Josh Carter had a big game in a near upset of Texas, scoring 26 points and nailing six three-pointers.

Silent treatment a change for Illini

SAN DIEGO – The last time the Illinois men's basketball team took the court for an NCAA tournament practice, it was a madhouse.

At last season's Final Four in St. Louis, an estimated 31,000 fans – an unofficial all-time record – showed up for the national semifinalists' shootaround. So many of them were orange-clad Illini fans that Louisville freshman Lorrenzo Wade said, "I felt like I was inside a carton of Tropicana."

Remember when ...

CBS is televising the tournament for the 25th consecutive year. Staff writer Tony Bleill takes a look at the top 25 moments in the network's coverage of the tournament: