Illini return to Rose Bowl after 24 years

PASADENA, Calif. – Illinois will make its first Rose Bowl appearance in 24 years on Jan. 1, meeting Pac-10 champion Southern Cal. The pairing was announced during tonight's BCS selection show.

The Illini earned an at-large berth into the bowl, gaining the spot when Ohio State moved into the BCS championship. Ohio State's only loss came at home to Illinois on Nov. 10.

It's your business: Family restaurant opens in Mahomet

Donna and Alex Garduno, the owners of a family-style restaurant in Bement, have opened a second restaurant in Mahomet.

Their new place, Mahomet Square Family Restaurant, is at 804 Eastwood Center, where Esmeralda's Pancake House used to be.

UI men's basketball game preview

Here's a preview of today Illini's game against Weber State:

Urbana shows late bounce

URBANA – Urbana won the second half, but Normal Community won the game.

The Tigers trailed 32-14 at halftime against the Ironmen, but coach Terrence Gray's team outscored its opponent 35-27 in the last two quarters of a 59-49 Big 12 Conference loss.

Freshman helps Cardinals shake Unity, Zebe

CHRISMAN – With its top three players on the bench having fouled out, Chrisman needed someone to step up in the closing seconds to knock down some clutch free throws.

Enter Cody Owen.

Vikings left on outside

MATTOON – The road to a rout turned into a path of destruction.

On the same night that Danville jumped to a 9-0 lead – forcing six turnovers before Mattoon attempted a shot – the Vikings managed to lose a boys' basketball game. There was a truckload of factors contributing to Mattoon's 51-50 Big 12 Conference victory Friday.

Slow start to both halves too much for Chargers

CHAMPAIGN – Even with one starter missing, the fourth-ranked Class 3A basketball team in the state can be a mighty handful.

Just ask the Centennial Chargers, who had no defensive answers Friday night for Decatur Eisenhower's potent attack.

Carlwell could miss six weeks

CHAMPAIGN – Brian Carlwell suffered an injury to his right knee midway through practice Friday at the Assembly Hall.

The injury is being called a sprained knee pending further evaluation.

Capital One Bowl trims list to two

CHAMPAIGN – While Illinois began its bowl practice Friday, members of the Capital One selection committee were cutting their Big Ten list to two.

Illinois or Michigan will play in the Jan. 1 game against an SEC team, most likely Florida or LSU.

Semrau searching for a bigger role

CHAMPAIGN – Rich Semrau needed a pick-me-up, a source of guidance to brighten a trying situation.

The second-year forward has been relegated to a minuscule role in the six games leading into today's contest against Weber State at the Assembly Hall (4 p.m., Big Ten Network). In four games he did not play. In the other two games he played a total of two minutes.