Back to the border for Illinois coach

EDINBURG, Texas – If you thought Lon Kruger's last two 20-win seasons were something, Dr. Miguel Nevarez wishes you could have seen the first one.

It happened 13 years ago at Texas-Pan American University, where Kruger, tonight's guest of honor, is still el hombre.

Rossow: Illini need pre-Big Ten momentum

Cory Bradford's been hooked on the NCAA tournament ever since watching Christian Laettner grab Grant Hill's desperate pass, turn around and beat Kentucky with a jumper at the buzzer of a regional final.

Victor Chukwudebe's been craving madness in March ever since watching five Michigan freshmen in real long shorts march all the way to the championship game.

Melton shoots down tournament records

   CHAMPAIGN  Brett Melton took a lot of shots Friday afternoon. Brett Melton made a lot of shots Friday afternoon.

   The Mahomet-Seymour junior played like former Illini Andy Kaufmann against Kaufman''s former old team, Jacksonville, overwhelming the Crimsons for 41 points. The future Illini''s line included nine three-pointers and two dunks in his team''s 64-49 first-round victory.

UI women''s basketball game statistics

Game statistics for Illinois women vs. Butler

Illini show NCAA nerve

Don Hardin's Illini joined the 20-win club and got an NCAA tournament tuneup Friday night against an old friend.

"Tonight's match would be typical of a second-round NCAA match on the road," setter Melissa Beitz said after Illinois' 18-20, 15-8, 15-3, 15-11 victory at Minnesota.

Illini Insider

The inside scoop on Illini athletics:

UI volleyball tries for 20

Don Hardin's University of Illinois volleyball team wraps up the regular season tonight with a Big Ten road match against former Illini coach Mike Hebert and Minnesota.

Mahomet-Seymour duo still on same path

MAHOMET – They've been joined at the basketball hip going on six years now: senior Matt Engstrom, the 6-foot-9 tower of power in the middle, and junior Brett Melton, the laser-accurate gunner.

These days, you can find this duo preparing for their final combined act at Mahomet-Seymour High School. A much anticipated act, Bulldogs fans will tell you.

Curtain makes defense her specialty

CHAMPAIGN – When you have eight brothers and sisters, finding your niche is a big deal.

So when Taylorville freshman Allison Curtin joined the Illinois women's basketball team this fall, along with three other freshmen, she knew how to make herself fit in.

Tate: Illini in mix for brother of Hodges

In desperate need of big, athletic linemen – coach Ron Turner plans to recruit five young giants on offense and perhaps four on defense – the Illini have an advantage in the all-out chase for 280-pound south suburban standout Aaron Hodges.

"We're close," said Aaron of his brother Brian Hodges, the UI's starting tight end.

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