Sights and sounds

Bob Asmussen sets the Cox Arena scene:

CBS move irks fans of Illinois

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois fans, take note: Russ Hamilton is on your side.

The general manager of WCIA, Champaign's CBS affiliate, on Friday said that according to CBS headquarters in New York the network shouldn't break away from any NCAA tournament games involving the Illini.

Team matchups

A preview of today's 4:25 p.m. Illinois vs. Washington game:

Offense dooms Illinois women

MILWAUKEE – Illinois' season came to a quiet end Friday.

Marquette buried the Illini women's basketball team 64-44 in the first round of the WNIT in front of 609 at the Al McGuire Center.

Asmussen: One game at a time for Smith

SAN DIEGO – The phone rang and rang and rang. All night and all morning. About 35 calls.

The voice mail was packed. No way to listen to them all.

Brett's random thoughts

So Connecticut didn't lose. We didn't get to see the biggest upset in NCAA tournament – and maybe in sports – history. But Albany's closer-than-expected loss to the Huskies tells us something.

Asmussen's postcard from San Diego

It's a day off. I'm sick of basketball. And one of the greatest public golf courses in the world is 15 minutes from the swanky Doubletree.

So, with ace photographer/caddie R.K. O'Daniell in tow, we point the white Chevyoldmobuick toward Torrey Pines. Shockingly, with the help of R.K.'s fancy computer, we find the place without a problem.

Friedl carrying Illini torch

OKLAHOMA CITY – Illinois' Pete Friedl became the eighth three-time All-American in Illini history Friday at the NCAA wrestling tournament, but the Illini endured another tough day.

Friedl advanced to the semifinals at 184 pounds with a 3-1 decision against No. 3 seed Ben Wissel of Purdue, a victory that evened their season series at 2-2 and secured All-American honors for the Orland Park senior.

Augustine, Brown enjoying the moment

SAN DIEGO – They are two of the most outgoing, most engaging Illinois basketball players ever, and so Bruce Weber began to wonder what was amiss as Dee Brown and James Augustine withdrew from public view.

It was mid-February in Columbus, Ohio, and – as is its custom – the Illinois basketball team was visiting a Dave & Buster's restaurant during a road trip.

Strain, strain go away

SAN DIEGO – It wasn't supposed to be so stressful.

Deron Williams was gone, and Luther Head, too. And with so many fresh faces surrounding Dee Brown and James Augustine, Illinois was supposed to take what it could get in 2005-06.