COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dee Brown, meet Clive Follmer! James Augustine, shake hands with Johnny "Red" Kerr!
Brown, Augustine and the sophomore-led Illini made their mark in history Sunday, building a 17-point lead and hanging on to nip Ohio State 64-63 for the school''s first undisputed Big Ten basketball championship since the Kerr era in 1952.
We asked our online readers to compare this season''s Illinois basketball team with the school''s recent Big Ten champions. Some responses:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – He hasn''t stopped to catch his breath during this dizzying season, hasn''t come up for air since he dove into a new job 10 months ago.
And so it happens that Bruce Weber only recently got around to signing his first contract at Illinois.
SAVOY – It was a celebration 52 years in the making, and Illinois fans did it up right Sunday night when welcoming home their Big Ten Conference champion Illinois men''s basketball team.
"Fifty-two years is a long time, but we finally pulled it off," Illinois junior guard Luther Head told a spirited crowd – estimated by one Flightstar charter company official to be about 1,500 people – that flocked to Willard Airport after the Illini clinched the title outright for the first time since 1952 with a 64-63 victory against Ohio State.
The Big Ten''s irregular regular season ends today, and though they say it was a down year in the league, there''s plenty to talk about. The News-Gazette''s Brett Dawson and Jim Rossow take a look back, including a glimpse at how Dawson probably will vote on his All-Big Ten ballot, due Monday:
They threw passes to 3-year-olds. And smiled. They signed autographs for 6-year-olds. And laughed.
Kind of hard to tell who were the players and who were the kids Saturday at the annual News-Gazette Football Family Fun Fest.
Amanda Fortune tossed a three-hit shutout against Tennessee Tech and Rachelle Coriddi had four hits against UNLV as Illinois on Saturday moved into the semifinals at the Speedline Tournament in Clearwater, Fla.
Katie O''Connell was 3 for 3 to support Fortune in a 3-0 win. Fortune (9-1) had nine strikeouts. Against UNLV, Jenna Hall had three RBI and Lindsey Hamma had two hits and two runs.
CHAMPAIGN – On the face of it, Illinois'' women''s basketball program has been here before.
It was a decade ago, to be precise. In 1994-95, the Illini posted a 10-win season and 10th-place Big Ten finish.
IOWA CITY, Iowa – To mark his program''s latest head-turning accomplishment, Illinois men''s tennis coach Craig Tiley gathered his players after their record-tying 45th consecutive win Saturday.
And chewed them out.