ROSEMONT – Bill Hancock is as bullish as they come on The House That Michael Built.
The former director of the NCAA men''s basketball tournament calls the United Center "a gorgeous, Y2K arena."
I recently joined teammates Dee Brown and Luther Head as a first-team All-Big Ten performer, duplicating my effort of 2003-04. This season, I led the league in assists for a third consecutive year, joining fellow Illini Bruce Douglas and Michigan State''s Mateen Cleaves as the only Big Ten players to accomplish that feat. Earlier in 2004-05, I became a member of UI''s 1,000-point club. Thirty-one of those points came against Cincinnati in the second round of the 2004 NCAA tournament. The three Illini teams for which I''ve played have won 85 percent of their games. I played high school ball at The Colony, Texas, with current Indiana Hoosier Bracey Wright .
BRADENTON, Fla. – The Illinois baseball team rallied from behind twice before losing 5-4 to Kent State on Sunday on a walk-off home run.
The loss was the Illini''s second of the season to the Golden Flashes, who handed Illinois a season-opening 6-5 setback Feb. 25 at Rock Hill, S.C.
Bulletin board material
Maybe The News-Gazette should get some credit for this magnificent Illinois season. After all, our pick of Michigan State to beat the Illini in the regular season was bulletin-board worthy, and our decision to give Nick Fazekas the edge over James Augustine in a position-by-position matchup apparently helped spur the Illinois forward to a career night. We all enjoy this sportswriting thing, but maybe motivatonal speaking lies in the future.
INDIANAPOLIS – By midafternoon Saturday, 320 posts were on Illiniboard.com. Under the heading "Down goes Kansas."
The posters were celebrating a game their team didn''t play in. But one coached by their former favorite coach, Bill Self. His Kansas Jayhawks were upset by Bucknell on Friday, the first opening-round loss for the Jayhawks since 1978.
INDIANAPOLIS – One, by rule, can''t play. One, by injury, can''t play. One, by choice, can''t play.
Marcus Arnold, Brian Randle and Calvin Brock are all members of the top-ranked Illinois basketball team. But they haven''t played a second all season.
INDIANAPOLIS – Illinois spent much of the regular season being compared – sometimes unfavorably – to North Carolina.
The Illini bristled when a national media type said the Tar Heels were the superior team, even as the wins piled up in Champaign-Urbana.
THE PLACE TO BE
It''s been a nice first year for interim Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman. All is good throughout the university – if you put aside the ever-lingering Chief controversy. Illinois'' win against Nevada just sweetened things.