The Illinois volleyball team came up short in the national championship, falling 3-1 to UCLA on Saturday in the Alamodome. The Illini turned in the best finish in school history with the second-place showing and ended the year with an overall record of 32-5. Read FightingIllini.com’s full recap, see the box score and check out the team’s photo gallery.
It was a busy Saturday of Big Ten men’s hoops, with nine teams in action. The Big Ten went 7-2, headlined by No. 20 Indiana moving to 10-0 with a win over Notre Dame (recap). Also victorious, Iowa took down Drake (recap), Nebraska dropped Alcorn State (recap), No. 23 Michigan State topped Bowling Green (recap), Northwestern held off CCSU (recap), No. 18 Michigan blew away Alabama A&M (recap) and No. 2 Ohio State rallied past South Carolina (recap). On the losing end, No. 19 Illinois lost to UNLV (recap) and Purdue fell to Butler (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video and recaps in this post.
Saturday featured five Big Ten women’s hoops games, including No. 12 Ohio State in action. The Buckeyes stayed perfect, moving to 10-0, by carding an exciting 77-75 victory at Cal. The win sent Ohio State coach Jim Foster to his 750th career triumph. Watch our highlights from Illinois’ defeat to Texas Tech at the United Center now and catch up on all the action in this post and see our Big Ten scoreboard.
Northwestern showed no ill effects from its 10-day layoff in a 30-point shellacking of Texas Southern. The impressive results, as usual for the Wildcats, were at the offensive end, where they posted the second-highest efficiency allowed by the Tigers all season. Texas Southern has faced a couple teams relevant to the Wildcats, so the efficiencies posted by each team against the Tigers may be enlightening:
Illinois advanced to the school’s first NCAA volleyball championship match with a win over USC in five sets (25-27, 25-18, 25-22, 18-25, 15-10). Illinois will face UCLA for the title on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. Relive an entire live blog at FightingIllini.com, check out their photo gallery, and find the entire updated interactive tournament bracket at NCAA.com. NCAA.com also has video highlights. You can also follow the Illinois volleyball team’s Twitter account @IlliniVball. Earlier, UCLA advanced to its first national championship match since 1994 with a sweep of Florida State in the other semifinal (25-16, 25-17, 25-21).
Fans love to debate it: What were the best bowl games in my school’s history? Well, with the postseason on our doorstep, here are my picks for the top three postseason efforts for the 10 Big Ten schools in action this season. Let the debate begin. You can bet there are a lot of Rose Bowl games listed in this post. What makes The Grandaddy of Them All so special?
It’s the Holiday season, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a Christmas song or two to get you feeling all festive? A cast of Illinois athletes might change your view on Christmas music. In a recent IlliniProductionHD YouTube video, quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, breakout basketball player Meyers Leonard and a group of other Illini combine to sing Jingle Bells. Watch and hear their rendition in this post. So, what do you think?