Illinois Fighting Illini News for March 3, 2014
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Football. Illini Ready for Spring Practice March 5

The Fighting Illini open spring practice on Wednesday, March 5, with the first of 15 workouts. Illini Spring Football Notes | Spring Roster | Beckman Press Conference |

Danville, Prairie Central triumph

In Class 4ADanville 63, Normal West 55. Denzel Smith poured in a game-high 27 points for the fifth-seeded Vikings, who will play top-seeded Bradley-Bourbonnais at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Normal Community. Kylen Butler added 18 points for the Vikings, who led 37-21 at halftime. read more

How MJ voted: Florida still on top

1. Florida2. Wichita State3. Arizona4. Kansas5. Duke6. Syracuse7. Villanova8. Wisconsin9. Michigan10. Virginia11. Creighton12. San Diego State13. Louisville14. Cincinnati15. Iowa State16. Connecticut17. Memphis18. North Carolina19. Saint Louis20. Southern Methodist21. Iowa22. New Mexico23. Kansas State read more

Crawford, Moore honored by league

ROSEMONT — Illinois senior guard Amber Moore and junior guard Ivory Crawford were selected as honorable mention All-Big Ten on Monday. Crawford received the honor from conference coaches and media, while Moore was picked by Big Ten media members. Moore leads Illinois with 14.9 points per game, which ranks 11th in the league. read more

HQ men's hoops prediction: Michigan 67, UI 63

The 12th-ranked Wolverines will try to clinch the Big Ten title outright Tuesday night in Champaign. No. 12 Michigan at Illinois, 6 p.m. Tuesday read more

Bertrand, Ekey look back, ahead

Marcus Jackson caught up with the Illini's two fifth-year seniors. Tuesday night marks the final home game in the careers of fifth-year seniors Joseph Bertrand and Jon Ekey.Each has experienced his own ups and downs throughout the last five years in college basketball.Bertrand battled back from injury as a true freshman, a coaching change two years ago and prolonged stretches of losing each of the last three seasons. read more

Marcus Jackson: Gators, Shockers still rate elite spots

Kansas and Arizona also would be top seeds if the NCAA tourney started today, according to our college basketball writer. EAST1. Florida2. Michigan— An outright Big ten title is within reach for the Wolverines, who can claim the crown of one of America’s top conferences tonight at State Farm Center.3. Villanova4. CincinnatiMIDWEST1. Wichita State2. Syracuse3. Creighton4. Michigan State read more

Loren Tate: Big Dance remains target

Victories against Michigan and Iowa would go a long way in Illini's long-shot bid. “No!”Clearly enunciated, that was John Groce’s sharp response.The question: Can you imagine any circumstance where it would be preferable to participate in the NIT over the NCAA?“I’m biased,” said the Illini basketball coach Monday, “and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to play in the greatest tournament in the world.” read more

Matt Daniels: Spring practice lookahead

Our college football beat writer takes a look at some of the top storylines. Football is never far from Tim Beckman’s mind. Or his vocabulary. The third-year Illinois coach met with the media Monday, two days before the Illini begin spring practices. read more

Urbana earns date with Centennial

Rantoul High School knew what to expect from Urbana. “I watched four game films and saw them in person on Friday,” coach A.J. Richard said. What the Eagles didn’t know was how well the Tigers would execute their game plan. Urbana made at least half of its shots from the field in every quarter and overpowered Rantoul 80-57 on Monday in a first-round Class 3A boys’ basketball playoff game in Champaign. CHAMPAIGN — Rantoul High School knew what to expect from Urbana.“I watched fo

Illini hanging on to NCAA Tournament hopes [$]

John Groce said he hasn't talked with his team about the NCAA Tournament yet. That isn't necessary. The Illinois players understand what they're playing for over the last two regular season games, starting Tuesday night when they host No. 12 Michigan.

In the Stands - Prepping for Michigan [$]

Join Fletcher Page and Taylor Rooks for a casual conversation about Illinois-Michigan.

At a Glance: Michigan State [$]

A closer look at Illinois' next opponent -- the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines.

Breakdown: Glynn Watson [$]

One of the more improved and experienced junior guards in the state of Illinois is St. Joe's point guard Glynn Watson. He put on a show recently in a win over a talented St. Rita squad. We take a closer look at his game here.

Candidates for governor square off in debate

CHAMPAIGN — On Monday night, three Republicans made their case why they should get the chance to take on incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn in the November general election. read more

3A Central Regional: Urbana vs. Rantoul

Urbana and Rantoul during their Class 3A Regional boys basketball game at Central High School  in Champaign on Monday, March 3, 2014.

Linebacker talks Illini, recruiting

3-star linebacker David Long from Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods has an Illinois offer and is hearing from the Illini regularly.

News-Gazette Sports Page 3-3-14

News-Gazette Sports Page 3-3-14: Play now!On todays edition of The News Gazette Sports Page Host Macus Jackson, Matt Daniels, and Bob Asmussen have a full house as they talk to Illini Offensive Coordinator Bill Cubit, The State Champion Girls Basketball Team St. Thomas More, and a whole lot more on News Talk 1400 WDWS Champaign Urbana. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

Initial report: Man in chase killed by shot within car, not polic...

Initial autopsy results for a man involved in a car chase and shootout with Danville police indicate that the man was not shot by a police officer, authorities said Monday. DANVILLE — Initial autopsy results for a man involved in a car chase and shootout with Danville police indicate that the man was not shot by a police officer, authorities said Monday. read more

M. Golf. Campbell Grabs Lead, #6 Illini Third at USF Invite

Brian Campbell and Thomas Detry each shot 5-under-par 67 at the USF Invitational on Monday, as Campbell grabbed the individual lead and Illinois moved up to third place. Round 3 Live Scoring |

Fire damages home near Cissna Park; no injuries reported

CISSNA PARK — A home in a subdivision north of Cissna Park sustained extensive damage Monday when a fire spread from its fireplace to its attic.   Joe Young, chief of the Cissna Park Fire Protection District, estimated that 25 firefighters from Cissna Park, Buckley, Loda and Milford responded shortly before 11:30 a.m. to the fire at 114 W. read more

Cynthia Johnson - UBA on Restaurant Week 3-3-14

Cynthia Johnson - UBA on Restaurant Week 3-3-14: Play now!Brian Moline talks with the Executive Director of the Urbana Business Association about the delicious offerings at 12 Urbana restaurants this week! Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

M. Basketball. Senior Night Notes & Links: Illinois vs. #12 Michi...

It will be Senior Night at State Farm Center when the Illini host No. 12 Michigan Tuesday (6 pm, ESPN). Tickets Watch Online | Listen | Gametracker | Mobile Stats | Printable Notes | Groce Press Conference | @IlliniHoops | #Illini |

On the Town: March 2

On The Town photos from the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball event in Champaign on Saturday February 22, 2014

W. Basketball. Crawford, Moore Named Honorable Mention All-Big...

Illinois senior guard Amber Moore and junior guard Ivory Crawford were named honorable mention All-Big Ten Monday, as the conference announced its postseason honors.All-Big Ten Teams |

Baseball. Duchene, Nagle Nab Big Ten Weekly Honors

Sophomore pitcher Kevin Duchene was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, while sophomore outfielder Ryan Nagle was tabbed Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday.

Two arrested in Rural King gun thefts

Two Champaign teens who a prosecutor said stole new guns from the Champaign Rural King last summer were arrested Monday by Champaign police.   URBANA — Two Champaign teens who a prosecutor said stole new guns from the Champaign Rural King last summer were arrested Monday by Champaign police. read more

03-03-14 Monday Morning Quarterbacks

03-03-14 Monday Morning Quarterbacks: Play now!03-03-14 Monday Morning Quarterbacks.  Jim Turpin and Loren Tate are the Monday Morning Quarterback after a BIG ILLINI WIN over MSU. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

Wrestling. Eight Illini Earn Pre-Seeds for Big Ten Championships...

Eight members of the Fighting Illini wrestling team have earned pre-seeds for the 2014 Big Ten Championships as voted by the conference coaches, the Big Ten office announced Monday.

Early voting begins

Early voting began Monday in Illinois for the March 18th Primary election. Early voting started Monday across Illinois for the March 18th Primary Election. In Champaign County, voters can go to the County Clerk's Office at the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana to cast early ballots. read more

UI flash index shows slow growth in February

The University of Illinois flash index dropped to 106.8 in February, down from 107.2 in January, indicating the Illinois economy is growing at a slow pace. URBANA — The University of Illinois flash index dropped to 106.8 in February, down from 107.2 in January, indicating the Illinois economy is growing at a slow pace. The index, released by the UI Institute of Government and Public Affairs, is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spendin

M. Basketball. Nunn Earns Second Straight Freshman of the Week...

Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second week in a row after Illini wins over Nebraska and Michigan State. Big Ten Release |

Poll: Recruit of the week

Dallas Kimball point guard Jawun Evans is among the candidates for our recruit of the week. Vote now!

W. Gymnastics. Illinois Gymnastics to Host Annual Gym Jam Promoti...

The Fighting Illini men's and women's gymnastics teams will host its annual Gym Jam promotion, presented by WCIA, this Saturday at 4 p.m. inside Huff Hall.

M. Gymnastics. Illinois Gymnastics to Host Annual Gym Jam Promoti...

The Fighting Illini men's and women's gymnastics teams will host its annual Gym Jam promotion, presented by WCIA, this Saturday at 4 p.m. inside Huff Hall.

Russia demands a return to Ukraine unity pact

DALTON BENNET, Associated PressDAVID McHUGH, Associated Press read more

Iowa State offers Dowell brothers

Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward's Andrew Dowell and David Dowell (pictured) are both four-star prospects, but because they play different positions their offer lists are not identical. Iowa State, however, did offer the pair Sunday night.

State champs: Behind the scenes

During their run to the first girls' basketball state championship in C-U history, the St. Thomas Sabers — players, managers, coaches — used their cellphones to tell their story. Check it out here During their run to the first girls' basketball state championship in C-U history, the St. Thomas Sabers — players, managers, coaches — used their cellphones to tell their story. Check it out here

STM - Journey to State

Through their eyes... a photo journey of the St. Thomas More girls basketball team to the 2014 IHSA 2A State Championship.

Nunn honored by Big Ten again

For the second straight week, Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. For the second straight week, Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. The 6-foot-3 guard, who has been instrumental in Illinois’ three-game win streak, averaged 10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Illini in wins against Nebraska and Michigan State. read more

Weekend Wrap — Finke excels for surging Chargers

Every week during the high school basketball season, recruiting blogger MATT DANIELS will give a wrap-up of how Illini commits and targets fared during the previous week's worth of games.THE RECRUITS Centennial product and Illinois signee Michael Finke averaged 32.5 points during two wins for the Chargers last week. read more

Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten 3/3/2014

Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten 3/3/2014: Play now!Liz and Loanie talk with Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten about the upcoming election season. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

Politicians, firms: Please stop calling us

Politicians and businesses should come to realize they offend people by these unwanted phone calls at all hours of the day and evening. If they realize they are offending people and could hurt their chances of getting our vote or our business, I think they would discontinue this practice. So be warned! We do not want your calls — please stop calling us. read more

Obama's best hope for change

WASHINGTON — President Obama's new initiative to help at-risk boys of color — "My Brother's Keeper" — is cause for cheer. read more

Timely exit for untimely nominee

Arthur Bishop's decision to resign from his position as head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is good news. It's not too much to ask that people holding important jobs in government be beyond reproach. Did he jump? Or was he pushed? read more

Baby, it's cold outside

Is this brutal winter weather ever going to end? Snow, bitter cold, ice, wind chill — yikes! When will it end? Soon, relatively speaking, but not soon enough. It's easy to preach patience, but much harder to practice. read more

Stay in your lane, even if it has potholes

Hey folks, use a little common sense while driving in pothole central. Just because there is a huge pothole in your lane does NOT give you the right to immediately (and without use of a lane change indicator) swerve into the adjacent lane to avoid it. read more

Costly spending for questionable projects

Wow, two more examples of stupidity by the state and Urbana's mayor. First, it's going to cost up to $135 million and take at least 37 more acres of land to redo the Interstate 57 and 74 interchange. Where are the engineers that years ago redid the Neil Street I-74 interchange? They redid it using the same amount of land and didn't need ramps up to 60 feet in the air! read more

Free dental services to be offered March 8

Free dental cleanings and exams will be available to children and teens March 8 at the annual Give Kids a Smile event in Champaign. CHAMPAIGN — Free dental cleanings and exams will be available to children and teens March 8 at the annual Give Kids a Smile event in Champaign. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that Saturday at the Fluid Events Center, 601 N. Country Fair Drive, C. Free fluoride varnish treatments will also be available. read more

UI meteorologist to speak at safety event

URBANA — University of Illinois meteorologist Jeffrey Frame, who takes students to the Great Plains each spring to observe tornadoes and thunderstorms, will speak at a free weather-safety event at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Beckman Institute auditorium, 405 N. Mathews Ave., U. read more

Roads get fresh coating

Sunday's snow was less than may have been predicted but still brought out a full complement of county plowers. Area is relatively unscathed, but plows out in force URBANA — Like almost every other Illinoisan, Tracy Wingler is tired of winter. Snow has meant very few weekends off since December for Champaign County's highway maintenance supervisor. "It seems like every storm has been on the weekend or a holiday," he said. "The men are loving it. I'm not. The budget's not."

Area history, March 3, 2014

Today is Monday, March 3, 2014. News reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago on this date: read more

Traffic flow to be adjusted for pickup, drop-off times at Wiley...

URBANA — A change in traffic flow near Wiley Elementary School will affect student drop-offs and pickups beginning March 10. read more

This day in history: March 3, 2014

Today is Monday, March 3, the 62nd day of 2014. There are 303 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: read more

'Unofficial' around the corner

They came last year from nine states, 15 cities and 47 colleges, including four other Big Ten universities and the University of Illinois. And they'll be coming again this Friday for Unofficial St. Patrick's Day. They came from nine states, 15 cities and 47 colleges, including four other Big Ten universities and the University of Illinois. And they'll be coming again this Friday for Unofficial St. Patrick's Day. "We've seen more people on Facebook this year saying they'r

Sign up as donor and save lives, livelihoods

During Black History Month, I can't help but think about this commemoration in relation to organ, eye and tissue donation. Dr. Maurice F. Rabb was the Illinois Eye-Bank's first medical director, and the first African-American eye bank medical director in the country. One of his key initiatives was to raise awareness about the need for organ, eye and tissue donation. read more

More reasons to put off new state testing

On Feb. 23, The News-Gazette reported that superintendents from top Illinois high schools seek to delay the state's mandated change to a new statewide achievement test — the PARCC test. I add my lowly adjunct-educator's voice to their expert concerns for two more practical reasons. read more

Kurtz has earned bipartisan support

Al Kurtz has an unchallengeable record of solid accomplishments on behalf of all the citizens of Champaign County. read more

From the archives: Assembly Hall/State Farm Center

Photos from and about the University of Illinois Assembly Hall, renamed in 2013 as the State Farm Center.

Top of the Morning, March 3, 2014: From the archives

As concerts come to a pause until the fall of 2016, a look at the State Farm Center when it was still the Assembly Hall. The best way to see it for the first time is as a kid. In the winter. In the evening. At least for me. My parents, my mom's mom, and some of my siblings did just that many years ago. We drove to Champaign from my hometown, Danville, to see the Ice Capades. I remember nothing of the show, but I've never forgotten the first time I saw the Assembly Hall. read

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