Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

No tape delay allowed

CHICAGO – Jeff Guin is as nervous as any coach on the bubble heading into the weekend.

It's not his own team the Illinois administrative assistant is worried about. It's the Illini's first-round opponent that has Guin flipping the remote until blisters develop.

UI's Cardinal toast of Chicago

CHICAGO – Rod Cardinal always has been a big hit with Illinois basketball players.

Now Chicago politicians are singing his praises.

Cook growing to like United Center

CHICAGO – Illinois coach Bill Self thinks Brian Cook is still growing.

That's good for the 6-foot-10 sophomore's basketball career but bad for his wardrobe.

"It'd be hard on my clothes," Cook said. "It'd be good if I grew a couple more inches because people wouldn't be able to block my shot.

Self knows nothing is guaranteed in Big Ten

CHICAGO – It's not quite Joe Namath material, but Bill Self delivered his own guarantee this week.

Illinois will be playing basketball Sunday when the Big Ten tournament wraps up. Self just hopes it's at the United Center and not the Ubben Basketball Complex on campus.

A tournament teaser

   CHICAGO  Cheaper than a program, more objective than a news release, here''s our preview of the fourth annual Big Ten basketball tournament at the United Center, from the top seed to Northwestern:

Next stop for Judson: DeKalb

CHAMPAIGN – After he turned down Lon Kruger's offer to join him in the NBA, Rob Judson set out on a three-pronged plan of attack.

He wanted to ease the transition from Kruger to Bill Self at Illinois, enjoy a possible run to another Big Ten title and land his first head coaching job.

His checklist is complete.

Illini clinch top seed in tourney

MINNEAPOLIS – Illinois knows it has the top seed for this week's Big Ten tournament.

Today, UI coach Bill Self finds out if his point guard is the league's top player.

Illini wearing Big Ten crown on their sleeve

MINNEAPOLIS – If you bump into some Illini the next couple of days and notice they look like they've been sleeping in their clothes, don't become alarmed.

It's because they have been.

Williams' mom readies trophy case for another expansion

MINNEAPOLIS – Mary Williams can't wait until her son finds a permanent place of his own. All the awards Frank Williams has won for his work on the basketball court are cluttering up the place.

Bad news, Mom. Another trophy might be on the way.

Judson enjoying the moment

MINNEAPOLIS – Good thing Rob Judson's an avid jogger.

The Illinois assistant needed to be in shape for all the celebrating he did after Sunday's win.

He hugged players on the bench, family members in the stands and the Big Ten trophy in the locker room at Williams Arena.