Rogers in the running

Illinois senior Bob Rogers has been named a finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award, presented to the top collegiate senior gymnast each year.

Conroy saves UI day

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Illinois enters Big Ten baseball play with momentum.

The Illini, in their final tuneup, held on to beat host Indiana State 6-5 on Tuesday. It was their second win in a row after a three-game losing streak.

Tate: Illini future looks bright on all fronts

If a free throw collapse against Villanova in 1988 served as the springboard for a Final Four season in 1989, will the young Illini''s disappointing loss to Duke be a tuneup for another surge in 2005?

Many within Illini Nation think so. Let''s look ahead.

Fortune stands tall; Illinois third

Illinois'' softball team beat California-Riverside 2-0 Sunday to take third place in the Stanford Classic in Palo Alto, Calif., but it''s not the finish that mattered to head coachTerri Sullivan.

She''s happy with the way her Illini are playing headed into the conference schedule, which begins with home games Friday and Saturday against Michigan State and a doubleheader Sunday against Northwestern.

Final word

We asked the three reporters who covered Illinois'' NCAA tournament run to describe what makes this time of year so special. Their thoughts:

Conference call

The Big Ten''s out (except for Michigan in the NIT), and so is the Pac-10. Here are Bob Asmussen''s rankings of the top conferences in this year''s NCAA tournament:

State of the union

Lon Kruger came and went. Bill Self''s stay was brief but eventful. And in just one season, Bruce Weber put his own stamp on the Illinois basketball program. Through all the changes in Illini basketball during the past seven years, there''s been one constant: Ron Guenther calling the shots. On Friday night, News-Gazette staff writer sat down with the Illinois athletic director to discuss the program.

Season in the sun

News-Gazette staff writer Brett Dawson looks back at Illinois'' 2003-04 basketball season:

Progress report

Illinois loses emotional leader Jerrance Howard but should return the rest of its roster next season. News-Gazette staff writer Brett Dawson looks at the returning scholarship players:

Tate: Even in loss, Illinois ups the expectations

If you''re a perfectionist, every Illinois basketball season since 1939 – when Oregon defeated Ohio State to win the first NCAA tournament – has ended with the Illini out of fight. Beaten down. Disappointed.

But realistically, is this how we should feel about the 2003-04 campaign?