The NCAA Skinny

TV talk WCIA on Thursday will show all four games from Indianapolis: Marquette vs. Holy Cross at 11:20 a.m., Missouri vs. Southern Illinois at 1:40 p.m., Illinois vs. Western Kentucky at 6:10 p.m. and Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee at

Perspiration, inspiration on Illini''s minds

CHAMPAIGN  When last seen, the Illinois women''s basketball team was putting forth an uninspired effort at the Big Ten tournament. That was then. Now? The Illini say there''s no reason for UI fans to worry. "I feel that the ship is righted,"

Brian Dietz''s NJCAA tournament guide, from A to Z

A little before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Ashlee Hollis will step onto the Mary Miller Gym floor and sing the national anthem to kick off an 18-game, four-day basketball extravaganza in Danville. The NJCAA Division II tournament returns for the


PRO FOOTBALL * Ex-Illini back with Steelers. Tight end Matt Cushing has re-signed with the Steelers, providing Pittsburgh a backup to Mark Bruener and Jerame Tuman. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 1998,

Picking, grinning

Here''s what Illinois alumni and those with Illinois ties think of the Illini''s chances in the NCAA tournament: Stephen Bardo, member of the 1989 Flyin'' Illini and current Illinois radio analyst: "They play a great style of ball that lends


1. ARIZONA WILDCATS Coach: Lute Olson; Record: 25-3; NCAA Record: 34-20, four Final Fours, one NCAA championship (1997); How Got In: At-large bid; Best Win: Texas Key Players: G Jason Gardner (14.4 pts., 4.9 assists), F Luke Walton (10.0

Ticket info

Indianapolis'' RCA Dome (above) holds more than 35,000 fans for basketball, but with Illinois, Notre Dame, Marquette and Southern Illinois all slated to play there at this week''s NCAA tournament, the seats figure to go fast. All-sessions

All-Tournament Team

Brian Cook Illinois Sean Connolly Ohio State Tom Coverdale Indiana Brent Darby Ohio State Roger Powell Illinois Most Outstanding Player Brian Cook Illinois Tournament scoring leaders Brent


1. TEXAS LONGHORNS Coach: Rick Barnes; Record: 22-6; NCAA Record: 19-23, two Final Fours (1943, 1947); How Got In: At-large bid; Best Win: Oklahoma (twice) Key Players: G T.J. Ford (15.1 pts., 7.2 assists), C John Thomas (11.1 pts., 11.2

Illinois'' attention turns to screens

CHICAGO  On Sunday, Roger Powell didn''t know the first thing about Western Kentucky. By today, he figures to be well versed on Illinois'' first-round opponent in the NCAA tournament. "I don''t really know much about them, to be honest,"