It was a freaky Friday at the Big Ten tournament.
First, Big Ten co-champ Michigan State loses back-to-back games for the first time in 1997-98. Then Jarrod Gee has back-to-back good games for the Illini.
CHICAGO – Look out for the next "surprise."
Wisconsin, which hadn't beaten a Big Ten team since the Jan. 17 Kohl Arena opener against Northwestern (11 straight losses), grinded through another 32 minutes of offense-impaired, point-a-minute drudgery at the United Center Friday.
CHICAGO – Instead of saving it for Sunday's grand finale, the Big Ten will show its marquee matchup tonight in prime time.
Bob Knight vs. Gene Keady. Indiana vs. Purdue. The league's winningest program vs. the league's second-winningest program.
CHICAGO – They've spent the last week and a half getting caught up on homework, sleeping in and partying at Lon Kruger's house.
Vacation's over, Illinois.
CHICAGO – The transformation has been astonishing. In nine days, Bob Knight has gone from foul-mouthed bully to ... Lou Tepper?
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – It was the shot heard 'round the collegiate wrestling world.
Jevon Herman, ranked fifth in the nation at 177 pounds, had knocked off No. 1 Mitch Clark of Ohio State. Had handed the 1997 NCAA runner-up his first loss of the season after 31 victories. Had, in fact, pretty much had his way with the Buckeye senior.
News and notes about Illini sports:
No league receives the television exposure of the Big Ten Conference. It isn't even close.
ABC and ESPN handle the league's football. CBS and ESPN take care of the basketball.
He watched Sunday's Purdue-Michigan State game and was ecstatic after the Boilermakers' win gave Illinois a co-championship. He said the seniors deserved it.
He saw the prep all-state teams and was excited that future teammates were honored.
CHICAGO – On Tuesday, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany handed a large, shiny trophy to Lon Kruger, his players, the Illinettes, the cheerleaders and a few guys from the Orange Krush.
CBS may get them all together for another presentation a little after 3 p.m. Sunday.