For most baseball games, the introduction of the starting line-up is unremarkable. But last Friday, Illinois freshman infielder Michael Hurwitz and senior pitcher Nick Chmielewski had a little fun on camera. The duo donned a couple of mustaches and got into character as they introduced the starting line-up for their game against Nebraska. Watch the entertaining video now and see another memorable lineup rendition from last season in this post. Which one is better? Cast your vote.
March 26, 2005, forever will hold a special place in Illinois men’s basketball fans’ hearts. It was on this day, after all, that the top-ranked Illini pulled off one of the more memorable comebacks in NCAA tourney history (AP recap). Down 15 points with four minutes left in the Chicago Regional final against No. 3 seed Arizona, Illinois rallied all the way back to force overtime, where it carded an unforgettable 90-89 victory. Watch a video of the unbelievable comeback in this post.
All eight Big Ten women’s gymnastics teams have been chosen among the 36-team field to compete at NCAA Regionals on April 7, the selection committee announced on Monday. The Big Ten will be represented at five of the six regional sites.
In its first attempt, Nebraska won the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships title on Saturday night. The Huskers tallied a team score of 197.100, while Ohio State followed in second place (196.225) and Minnesota finished third (195.950). Michigan took fourth place (195.875), followed by Illinois in fifth (195.850), Penn State in sixth (195.700), Iowa in seventh (195.425) and Michigan State in eighth (194.675).
You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mailbag. There is a lot going on, with the NCAA tourney at the Sweet 16 stage and spring football in full swing across Big Ten territory. Which of the four Big Ten teams has the best shot to reach the Final Four? What will Wisconsin do at quarterback? I address those questions—and more—in this week’s mailbag.
(AP) Shaka Smart says he will stay at Virginia Commonwealth. Illinois had offered its coaching job to Smart, according to multiple reports. In a statement released by VCU on Wednesday, the 34-year-old Smart said: “I’m looking forward to building on the successes of our program and university.”
Illinois is the midst of spring practice under first-year head coach Tim Beckman, who was hired from Toledo to take over for Ron Zook. Beckman’s goal: Lead the Fighting Illini to the Big Ten championship, which they haven’t won since 2001 under Ron Turner. Zook couldn’t do it, going 34-51 overall and 18-38 in the Big Ten with three bowl bids in seven seasons. He was dismissed after a bizarre 2011 that saw the Illini open 6-0, then lose six in a row before winning their bowl game.