Jim Rossow

Will it be better in '15?

On Wednesdays during the offseason, basketball beat writer Marcus Jackson will appeal to the masses — by video (watch here) and by chat (participate here).

Faces of the spring

The high school spring sports season is starting to bloom.

Top of the Morning, March 26, 2014

Editor's note: The April 3 class has been canceled.

The timing of this year's Severe Weather Spotters Training Class in Tilton packs a punch. It takes place April 3, 40 years to the day that 148 twisters rocked 13 states resulting in 330 deaths and more than 5,000 injuries.

Top of the Morning, March 25, 2014

A former Illini gymnast, Andres Saavedra didn't flinch when NBC asked him if he could perform on the high bar for a skit that would air during last Friday's "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon."

Even if it meant doing it wearing jeans. And shoes. And a wig that made him look like Kevin Bacon.

Next season Illinois will be ....

Clemson eliminated Illinois from the NIT with a 50-49 win in Sunday's early-bird special. At our HQ Facebook page, we're asking our readers if next season is going to be any better.

Click here to weigh in

Top of the Morning, March 23, 2014

One of my favorite parts of each day's A-2 is Tom Kacich's area history roundup.

Meet our All-Area girls' basketball team

For 37 years, we’ve named an All-Area girls’ basketball. For the first time, however, we’re unveiling our all-stars on video.

Underdog's fight song has Illini ring to it

Stephen F. Austin is one of this year's NCAA tournament darlings. And its fight song which you might have heard after Friday's upset of VCU, sounds a lot like the Marching Illini in action, as Champaign's Robb Lucas pointed out to us.

Listen here

Top of the morning, March 22, 2014

For spring break tips, we turned to longtime travel and tour consultant Donica Halcom. The owner of Destinations with Donica in Savoy took her first flight in 1975 and has been helping others navigate their way ever since.

How's your bracket now?

Former N-G All-State Player of the Year Jabari Parker and his Duke teammates are headed home after a stunning loss to No. 14 seed Mercer today, 78-71.

The Blue Devils join Cincinnati, Ohio State and former UI coach Lon Kruger, now at Oklahoma, as early exits in another wild and wacky NCAA tournament.

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