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Sports

Center kept Illinois in passing lane

They'll never forget Nick Anderson's buzzer-beater at Indiana, Kenny Battle's in-your-face disgrace on Georgia Tech or Sean Higgins', ahem, push-off in Seattle.

But the move the Flyin' Illini remember most about 1988-89 happened 11 months before the Final Four, when center Jens Kujawa decided to skedaddle.

NCAA tourney tough sell for UI

CHAMPAIGN – The first two rounds of the NCAA tournament may have been a rousing success on the court for Illinois, but they were a puzzling disappointment at the gate.

Attendance last weekend for the two matches at Huff Hall ranked among the four smallest crowds at 4,500-seat Huff Hall this season. The opener Friday against Southwest Texas State drew 1,490. On Saturday, with a Sweet 16 berth on the line, No. 20 Illinois' victory over No. 17 Colorado attracted 1,403.

Tate: Seminoles deserving title shot

Florida State suffered a worse defeat – 24-7 to North Carolina State – than did Ohio State in its lone loss (28-24) to Michigan State.

But a deeper study confirms Bobby Bowden's Seminoles deserve the "championship game" slot opposite Tennessee on Jan. 4 in the Fiesta Bowl.

UI women''s basketball game statistics

Illini 85, Washington 73

Not-so-easy grader

Forty-four college football teams received official bowl assignments Sunday. Illinois wasn't one of them.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Illini will spend the holidays at home. The last bowl trip came after the 1994 season. Illinois is 10-33-1 since.

Happy ending for UI women

   LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.  Nobody ever said Illinois coach Theresa Grentz is easy to please.

   But after the UI''s 85-73 victory against Washington in the Honda Elite 4 Holiday Classic at Disney''s Wide World of Sports on Sunday, Grentz actually seem chipper.

Krupalija changes shirt

CHICAGO – Lon Kruger had a surprise for Damir Krupalija this week. On Saturday, the Illinois basketball team revealed its secret.

Prior to Monday's Valparaiso game, Kruger made Krupalija an offer he couldn't refuse. Not reasonably, anyway. No 19-year-old red-blooded college freshman would spurn his coach's offer to play. When Kruger approached his 6-foot-8 forward, asking him to consider abandoning his plan to redshirt, Krupalija figured the answer wouldn't be difficult to decide.

UI men''s basketball game statistics

Illinois 53, Bradley 48

Still standing

CHICAGO – Victor Chukwudebe starting at center? Damir Krupalija checking into the game? Lucas Johnson hoisting threes?

It was mostly business unusual for Lon Kruger's Illinois basketball team Saturday afternoon at the meat locker that was the United Center.

Brown works best in driving lane

CHICAGO – Brown likes bruises. Guard Cleotis Brown might have been the only player to enjoy a somewhat decent offensive performance, shooting 5 of 12 and scoring a game-high 16 points. And while the rugged play wouldn't seem to benefit his open-court style, Brown said he loves doing exactly what he did at the United Center. That is, taking the ball to the hoop.

"I like the contact. That's why I like going into the paint," Brown said. "The physicalness, I'm looking forward to that in the Big Ten."