Illini's journey not about wins

CHAMPAIGN – Three days before the Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC championship, Theresa Grentz's Illini were 4-1 in the Big Ten and fresh off a 30-point whipping of Wisconsin.

All was orange and blue in Illini Nation.


Big Ten honors junior Pomeroy

PARK RIDGE – Cara Pomeroy, who led Illinois to a season-high team score last weekend, was named Women's Co-Gymnast of the Week by the Big Ten on Wednesday.

Q & A with Cara Pomeroy

Illinois gymnast Cara Pomeroy started her career with a notable achievement. As a freshman in 2004, the Ottawa, Ontario, native recorded a perfect 10 on uneven bars to win the South Central Regional, joining teammate Ashley Williams as the first UI gymnasts to compete at the NCAA meet in 17 years. Last season she won 11 event titles and was named first-team All-Big Ten.

Illini in challenging position

CHAMPAIGN – The old formula says sweep at home, split on the road and you'll have a chance to win the Big Ten title.

This season, that isn't going to work for the Illinois basketball team.

Illini shut out Irish

URBANA – No. 3 Illinois continued its mastery of No. 28 Notre Dame, pitching a 7-0 men's tennis shutout Tuesday at Atkins Tennis Center.

Coach Brad Dancer thought his unbeaten Illini could have played better, however.

Tate: Foul smell to late-game strategy

In a matter of seconds Saturday afternoon, right there on the double TV screen, two college basketball games were tied in the final moment by a three-point shot.

It happens every week and by the dozens every season. Almost nobody fouls with a three-point lead, so the magical treys come flying at the end.

Who's that Illini?

I was a two-time NCAA champion in a gymnastics event no longer contested. I won national collegiate tumbling titles in 1957 and '58. The event was dropped from the NCAA meet after 1964. Those same seasons, I was the Big Ten tumbling champ. My other specialty, trampoline, also was later discontinued. I was an All-American in that event in 1956– one of four All-American awards I earned during my Illini career.

Weber puts the focus forward

CHAMPAIGN – Bruce Weber might start asking the Big Ten to stop scheduling off weeks for his Illinois basketball team.

The last time the Illini were scheduled for a Big Ten break, they got thumped 63-48 at Iowa. And last Saturday, heading into seven days of down time, Illinois saw Penn State snap its 33-game homecourt winning streak with a 66-65 shocker at the Assembly Hall.

Ankle fells Williams

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah guard Deron Williams sprained his left ankle during pregame warm-ups on Monday night and was unable to play against Chicago.

Team officials said the former Illinois standout was injured about 90 minutes before the game. They said the injury did not appear serious, but it will be further evaluated today.

Tate: Augustine's minutes are all fouled up

CHAMPAIGN – The positive aspect of a heart-breaking Illini loss is that it makes people think, reduces Super Bowl talk and virtually eliminates basketball recruiting discussions for 48 hours.

There's Bruce Weber, second-guessing himself for not asking to get precious fractions put back on the clock after his late timeouts (a good reminder for tournament time) in Saturday's 66-65 loss to Penn State.