Tisdale left redshirt decision to Weber

CHAMPAIGN – Despite a slight frame that could use another trip through the buffet line, Mike Tisdale is hardly a passive basketball player.

In fact, the first time Bruce Weber watched Tisdale, the then-Riverton sophomore was involved in a minor scrum on the court.

Tate: Speed bump ahead

CHAMPAIGN – Watch the fans. They know.

They sent a clear signal about Illini football expectations when they snapped up all the $60 horseshoe seats – UI students packed the new north end – and created sellouts for the last four home games.

Court: No limit on medical malpractice damages

A state law limiting jury awards in medical malpractice cases was ruled unconstitutional Tuesday by a Cook County Circuit Court judge.

The law allows unlimited economic damages to compensate for lost wages, medical bills and other associated expenses but caps non-economic damage awards for pain and suffering, loss of life or limb, disfigurement and loss of companionship to $500,000 a doctor and $1 million a hospital.

College basketball insider

News-Gazette beat writer Paul Klee's weekly look at the est game in the world (condensed version):

Illini will face Louisville in NCAA opener

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois soccer team will face Louisville at 4 p.m. Friday in South Bend, Ind., in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

It's the fifth consecutive season the Illini (11-6-2) have advanced to the tournament.

Asmussen: Who should I pick for Big Ten MVP?

You think figuring out the Big Ten's bowl scenario is a chore, try picking a Big Ten MVP.

After the season, all 11 schools will turn in their team selections. They will be considered for the league honor, which the Chicago Tribune awards in the form of the Silver Football. Good luck with that one.

Benn, Davis set to return

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois coach Ron Zook expects to have receiver Arrelious Benn and cornerback Vontae Davis back for Saturday's game against Northwestern.

Both players left in the first half of the Ohio State game with head injuries and did not play again. Davis asked to return, but Zook listened to team doctors, who suggested he hold the sophomore out.

Rivals Tuscola, Arcola set to pack the house

TUSCOLA – In Week 6, facing defending Class 2A champion Maroa-Forsyth, Tuscola coach Stan Wienke said the paid attendance was 4,200.

With a lot of folks entering the facilities before the gates officially opened, the attendance was probably closer to 4,500, he said.

Wilson gets tournament off on right foot

CHAMPAIGN – Former Illini Brian Wilson defeated Jesse Witten 6-2, 6-3 on Monday in the first round of the JSM Challenger at Atkins Tennis Center.

"I'm pretty happy with the way I played," Wilson said. "I had good energy. I stayed focused and stayed aggressive. That's my style. Jesse missed some shots he normally makes, but I hope part of that was because of the way I played."

Tate: Weber must piece together rotation puzzle

CHAMPAIGN – If Illinois is to continue as a "basketball school," coach Bruce Weber has some difficult puzzles to solve.

With Saturday's riotous 28-21 football victory against No. 1 Ohio State still reverberating throughout Illini Nation, Weber continued to shuffle players off the Assembly Hall bench in an unimpressive 63-55 opening defeat of Northeastern.