Scouting report on Washington

Looking for some insight on Washington, staff writer Bob Asmussen turned to Oregon State assistant coach Kevin Mouton. The Beavers played a close game at Washington, losing by four points. Washington wasn't as kind in the return trip to Corvallis, drilling Oregon State by 33. Here is Mouton's take on the Huskies:

Who's that Illini?

I'm sixth on the women's basketball career list for assists, finishing my career in 1983 with 323. My final season was one of the best in UI history, as I collected 170 assists, only three shy of the single-season record. But I'm best known as a head coach, leading a Big 12 Conference program to multiple NCAA tournament appearances.

Technical difficulties for Brown

SAN DIEGO – Dee Brown has been known to talk a little trash. He's been known to get a little emotional.

He didn't do either Thursday night, and still he got hit with a technical foul.

Guest of honor

Enough of the sports writers. Each time Illinois plays in the NCAA tournament, we'll have a News-Gazette writer outside the sports department break down the game. Today's guest: columnist and Cardinals fan Jim Dey:

Sights and sounds

Bob Asmussen sets the Cox Arena scene:

Brett's random thoughts

Don't underestimate the value of early upsets for teams who play later games on the NCAA tournament's first day. Illinois got to watch Oklahoma go down and Boston College (a No. 4 seed) struggle against Pacific (a No. 13).

Illini respond with tennis victory

URBANA – Through wind gusts of nearly 20 mph, the seventh-ranked Illinois men's tennis team got back to its winning ways with a 6-1 victory against No. 46 Southern California on Thursday at Atkins Tennis Center.

No. 3 Ryler DeHeart continued his strong season with a straight-sets win against the Trojans' Jamil Al-Agba (7-6, 6-1). Illinois' GD Jones, playing in the second spot against Pac-10 Player of the Week Dejan Cvetkovic, netted another victory for the Illini in straight sets (6-0, 6-4).

Young and old alike comfortable on tournament stage

SAN DIEGO – This is supposed to be a tense time, where hearts pound and fists clinch and even the most savvy veteran can tighten up.

How, then, to explain the Illinois basketball team?

Tate: It's business unusual

SAN DIEGO – A surreal week evolved into a surreal basketball game.

A surprising seed sent Illinois 2,000 miles from home. Then came the delayed charter flight ... the broken bus near the San Diego airport ... the fouled practice schedule ... and the Thursday morning overreaction by two bomb-sniffing dogs to a standard hot dog cart.

By the numbers

A numerical look at the Illinois-Air Force game: