Illini Insider

   News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth´s weekly review and preview of Illinois sports:

There´s more to Kansas than hoops

   News-Gazette Staff Writer

   Everyone knows about Wilt Chamberlain''s prowess on and off a basketball court, most remember Danny Manning and Larry Brown winning a national championship and a few hoops junkies might even know Lynette Woodard was the first woman Harlem Globetrotter. But there''s more to Kansas than basketball. Well, maybe not. But we''ll try to find something for everyone with 10 things every Illinois fan needs to know about the Jayhawks.

Illini by the numbers

   A numerical look at the Illini and the NCAA tournament:

Flip attitude not for Lockhart

   ALBANY, N.Y.  It''s been dubbed the coin-flip weight class, and that''s no mere flippant description.

   Just ask John Lockhart. The Illinois heavyweight''s good fortune with coin flips at last year''s NCAA wrestling tournament was like money in the bank for the reigning national champion.

Self seeking ingredients for permanent success

   They''re the gold standard of NCAA men''s basketball. They routinely reach the Sweet 16. Often appear in the Elite Eight. Are expected to contend each year for the Final Four. Have a national title or two to their credit during the past 15 years.

   You know the roll call: Duke. Kentucky. Kansas. Arizona. Michigan State. UCLA. And  this year''s collapse not withstanding  North Carolina.

Illini bench: Mark of true team play

   CHAMPAIGN  During these pressure times of the college basketball season, the last thing Illinois needs is for somebody to rock the boat, especially those coming off the bench.

   Thankfully for Illinois, coach Bill Self doesn''t have to deal with ego problems from his veteran threesome of seniors Damir Krupalija and Lucas Johnson and junior Sean Harrington. All three have logged miles of minutes throughout their careers, even starting occasionally. But they never gripe when they take a seat each time the ball''s tipped.

Illini must follow these steps to Final Four

   CHAMPAIGN  Getting to the Final Four isn''t easy.

   But if you follow Illinois, you already knew that.

Turnabout´s fair play

   CHAMPAIGN  Jim Cremin couldn''t buy better advertising than he''s getting from the NCAA tournament.

   Cremin, a Tulsa-based motivational speaker, can claim at least some credit for two of the biggest turnarounds in the Sweet 16.

Bensko helps rally Illinois

   Drew Davidson, T.F. Meagher, Andy Schutzenhofer and Dusty Bensko each drove in a run as Illinois defeated Wright State 5-4 in college baseball Tuesday in Bradenton, Fla.

   Schutzenhofer and Bensko each doubled for the Illini, who had 10 hits.

UI´s chance to end trend comes Friday

   Illinois can make history Friday against Kansas in Madison, Wis. - No Illini basketball team has defeated a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Fact is, no Illini team has beaten a team seeded ahead of it.

   Here''s a nutshell wrapup: