MADISON, Wis. – Maybe Illinois is a bit better in the backcourt. Maybe Wisconsin has an edge up front.
And just maybe, when the ball is tipped tonight in the Big Ten''s game of the year, the edge will belong to the team in the best state of mind.
There is enough basketball excitement today to keep a fellow glued to the next stunning development.
So it''s a strange time to be foraging ahead. But the future of Big Ten basketball is puzzling.
Brian Randle won''t play tonight against Wisconsin, and it''s looking less likely he''ll see game action this season.
The Illinois forward will meet with Bruce Weber and the Illini medical staff later this week, Weber said Monday, to discuss his short-term future.
News-Gazette beat writer Brett Dawsons weekly look at the game he loves:
I was a standout athlete in three different sports for the Illini during my three varsity seasons in the 1930s. Harry Combes and Lou Boudreau were two of my basketball teammates at Illinois, and Doug Mills was the coach my senior year. I helped win Big Ten basketball titles in 1935 and 1937, and we were 26-10 in conference play over three seasons. I also earned three letters in football for Bob Zuppke and three letters in baseball for Wally Roettger. After I graduated from Illinois, I became a coach at Pontiac High School. Today marks the 90th anniversary of my birth in 1915.
The last time Wisconsin lost at Kohl Center, Nancy Cantor was chancellor at Illinois, Howard Dean was the Democratic''s best bet against George Bush and Maurice Clarett was an Ohio State hero, not a zero. Since a 90-80 loss to Wake Forest on Dec. 4, 2002, the Badgers have won 38 in a row at home. A closer look at the nation''s best streak:
A little Champaign-Urbana snowstorm didn''t bother a pair of Florida football players during the weekend. They are coming back for more.
Tampa Middleton offensive lineman William Bergen and Tallahasssee Rickards defensive tackle Tremayne Walker both made commitments to Ron Zook''s Illinois program during the weekend. The wet, white stuff only helped Illinois'' cause.