Who's that Illini?

I am the Illini record-holder in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault. During my senior season in 1989, I cleared 18 feet, 8 inches outdoors and 18-6 indoors to break both records. My greatest collegiate success came indoors, as I won NCAA and Big Ten titles in 1988 and '89. I also placed as high as third in the NCAA outdoor meet, in 1988. I went on to a successful national and international career, highlighted by a bronze-medal performance in the 1997 World Championships.

Tate: Foul smell to late-game strategy

In a matter of seconds Saturday afternoon, right there on the double TV screen, two college basketball games were tied in the final moment by a three-point shot.

It happens every week and by the dozens every season. Almost nobody fouls with a three-point lead, so the magical treys come flying at the end.

Illini shut out Irish

URBANA – No. 3 Illinois continued its mastery of No. 28 Notre Dame, pitching a 7-0 men's tennis shutout Tuesday at Atkins Tennis Center.

Coach Brad Dancer thought his unbeaten Illini could have played better, however.

Who's that Illini?

I was a two-time NCAA champion in a gymnastics event no longer contested. I won national collegiate tumbling titles in 1957 and '58. The event was dropped from the NCAA meet after 1964. Those same seasons, I was the Big Ten tumbling champ. My other specialty, trampoline, also was later discontinued. I was an All-American in that event in 1956– one of four All-American awards I earned during my Illini career.

Mallory takes job at Kansas

CHAMPAIGN – After the end of the longest stay in his coaching career, Mike Mallory is going West.

The former Illinois defensive coordinator is moving to Kansas, where he will coach linebackers for Mark Mangino.

Ankle fells Williams

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah guard Deron Williams sprained his left ankle during pregame warm-ups on Monday night and was unable to play against Chicago.

Team officials said the former Illinois standout was injured about 90 minutes before the game. They said the injury did not appear serious, but it will be further evaluated today.

The insider

News-Gazette beat writer Brett Dawson's look at the game he loves:

Tate: Augustine's minutes are all fouled up

CHAMPAIGN – The positive aspect of a heart-breaking Illini loss is that it makes people think, reduces Super Bowl talk and virtually eliminates basketball recruiting discussions for 48 hours.

There's Bruce Weber, second-guessing himself for not asking to get precious fractions put back on the clock after his late timeouts (a good reminder for tournament time) in Saturday's 66-65 loss to Penn State.

Who's that Illini?

I was a two-time All-American in wrestling, placing fourth at the NCAA Championships in 1947 at heavyweight and second in 1948 as a 191-pounder. My national title bout was notable because of my opponent – two-time NCAA champion Verne Gagne of Minnesota, who went on to a starring career in pro wrestling. I also was a Big Ten champion in 1948 at heavyweight. A native of East St. Louis, I won the IHSA state heavyweight crown in 1941.

Weber puts the focus forward

CHAMPAIGN – Bruce Weber might start asking the Big Ten to stop scheduling off weeks for his Illinois basketball team.

The last time the Illini were scheduled for a Big Ten break, they got thumped 63-48 at Iowa. And last Saturday, heading into seven days of down time, Illinois saw Penn State snap its 33-game homecourt winning streak with a 66-65 shocker at the Assembly Hall.