UI's Masar earns honor

CHAMPAIGN – Two Illinois players have been selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas All-America team.

Junior forward Ella Masar was named to the second team, while sophomore defender Emily Zurrer earned a third-team spot. Both also were selected to the NSCAA/adidas All-Great Lakes Region first team.

Tate: Two's are wild for Wolverines

CHAMPAIGN – By any fair evaluation, Michigan is the second-best football team in collegiate circles.

But two influencing factors put Florida in the title game opposite Ohio State: (1) Michigan's accomplishments became stale over a two-week period when Florida was defeating Florida State, 21-14, and Arkansas, 38-28, and (2) there was a natural resistance around the country for a rematch of two Big Ten teams.

The insider

News-Gazette beat writer Paul Klee's weekly look at the best game in the world:

UI women's basketball game preview

Here's a look at today's UI women's basketball game against Florida:

Letter rip

This week's comments from readers:

Bob's random thoughts

News-Gazette college football writer Bob Asmussen offers his thoughts on Florida's advancement to the national title game:

Three Illini bring home UNI titles

CEDARFALLS,Iowa – Illinois junior Gabe Flores (125 pounds), senior Cassio Pero (141) and freshman John Dergo (184) won titles at the Northern Iowa Open on Sunday.

Freshman Jimmy Kennedy (133) and Roger Smith-Bergsrud (165) deach placed third in the event, which saw 11 Illini finish in the top six.

Former Illini in the NFL

Here's how ex-Illini playes and coaches fared in Sunday's NFL games:

Tate: On the bright side, Illini offense shines

PHOENIX – An inspired, 10-point underdog in the Valley of the Sun, undermanned Illinois exploded with perhaps its best segment of offensive basketball Saturday.

Bruce Weber's gang drained 17 of its first 25 shots at US Airways Center. Even all-time pros Rick Barry and Jerry West, seated in the first row, were impressed. These minutes offered positive indications, despite the ultimate 84-72 setback, for a December day when ailing Jamar Smith and Brian Randle return.

'Tis the best season

News-Gazette college football writer Bob Asmussen has made his list and checked it twice. Here's who has been naughty and nice during a spectacular 2006 season: