CHAMPAIGN – Ratings indicate No. 1 Illinois is a huge TV draw. That doesn''t mean ESPN''s "College GameDay" will come to campus this season.
Sites for the show were selected prior to the season, ESPN official Mike Humes said Wednesday. This weekend, Digger Phelps & Co. will be in Lawrence, Kan., for the Texas-Kansas game. Other games that ESPN will broadcast live from include Notre Dame at Syracuse (Feb. 5), Duke at Maryland (Feb. 12), Michigan State at Kentucky (Feb. 19), Louisville at Memphis (Feb. 26) and Texas at Oklahoma State (March 5).
CHAMPAIGN – The folks at ESPN announced a change in starting time for Tuesday''s game at Wisconsin. Unfortunately for Illinois, the network did not announce a venue change, too.
Which means the game''s still at the Kohl Center. Which means Illinois, if it plays remotely like it did against Iowa on Thursday, is in a heap of trouble.
This week''s look around the league, courtesy News-Gazette sports editor Jim Rossow:
Every time Illinois takes the court, it seems, the nation''s No. 1 team reaches some sort of milestone. A by-the-numbers glance at Bruce Weber''s unbeaten bunch, courtesy sports editor Jim Rossow:
This week''s look around the league, courtesy of News-Gazette sports editor Jim Rossow:
Sports editor Jim Rossow''s breakdown of Illinois'' remaining regular season games:
Illinois, like a lot of Big Ten teams, is finished with nonconference play. Here''s what we know about the Big Ten in advance of Wednesday''s league openers, courtesy sports editor Jim Rossow:
CHAMPAIGN – It''s a tribute to Bruce Weber''s program that it continues to act like a No. 1 team when there''s every excuse not to.
Campus is deserted, TV cameras are turned off and the current stretch of the schedule is hard on both eyes and RPIs. The coach isn''t as concerned with Longwood and Northwestern State as he is with Complacency State and Bored U.
CHAMPAIGN – Backcourt? Nope. Frontcourt? No way. Bench? Not a chance.
Homer Drew was struggling to find an advantage – any advantage – in his Valparaiso team''s Sunday meeting with Illinois.