Postseason fate now out of UI women's hands

INDIANAPOLIS – Lori Bjork's watery eyes told the story.

Struggling to maintain her composure, the Illinois women's top scorer dissected the Illini's damaging 61-49 defeat against Penn State on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.

Big Ten basketbal preview

Champaign's Sam Banks, whose aching knees are giving him all sorts of problems, will retire from officiating after this season, his 20th in Division I.

Ten questions for Rich Falk

While the rest of us are figuring out who gets off the NCAA bubble, Rich Falk is making sure his officials are ready for the Big Ten tournament. The conference associate commissioner and longtime head of basketball officiating took time out from breaking down game film to discuss Ed Hightower, neutrality and cooperative coaches with our friend of the officials, Bob Asmussen.

UI anticipating solid fan showing at big Ten tourney

CHAMPAIGN – With each two-hour jaunt north to Chicago, the Illini have enjoyed a built-in edge, almost as if they were playing on a second homecourt.

"When you watch them up there, you can see how many fans they have," Penn State senior guard Ben Luber said Friday by phone. "You walk down the street and there are (Illinois) fans all over."

If the NCAA tournament were today...

Here is one possible scenario for the top seeds in the men's NCAA tournament:

Tate: Tisdale right man for the job

CHAMPAIGN – If you never saw Jack Sikma, you soon may witness a replica ... a dark-haired clone.

For late arrivals, the blond Sikma was a 6-foot-11 product of St. Anne who declined Illini coach Harv Schmidt's overtures and took the safe route to Illinois Wesleyan. He racked 2,272 points there. Drafted No. 8 by the Seattle Sonics in 1977, he became a seven-time NBA All-Star and averaged double digits for 14 straight NBA seasons.

Weber favors adding teams to tourney

CHAMPAIGN – Next week, a 10-member selection committee will hole up in a Westin Hotel in Indianapolis. Its mission: piece together a field of 65 teams for the NCAA tournament.

Bruce Weber suggested Thursday they should have more leeway.

Smith looks to help Illini reach NCAA berth

CHAMPAIGN – Jenna Smith's weakness has nothing to do with jump shots, ball handling or defense.

When it comes to purses, Illinois' freshman center can't resist.

UI women's basketball game preview

Here's a look at tonight's UI women's basketball game against Penn State:

McBride pleads to guilty to DUI

URBANA – University of Illinois basketball player Richard McBride faces up to a year in the county jail after pleading guilty this afternoon to misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol.

McBride, 22, a senior from Springfield, appeared this afternoon before Champaign County Judge Rich Klaus, with attorney Mark Lipton of Champaign and Assistant UI Basketball Coach Wayne McClain.