Ballot Breakdown: Drake women finally getting noticed

A look at how Illinois basketball beat writer SCOTT RICHEY’s polls compare with those of the Associated Press:

Richey's Men's Top 25

Abrams nearing another 'last' in college career

CHAMPAIGN — The fact just two games remain this season at State Farm Center hasn’t escaped Tracy Abrams’ notice.

Legacy and various “lasts” in a final season mean something different when you’re six years into a college basketball career.

UI MBB preview: vs. Northwestern

Northwestern at Illinois, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Illinois (15-12, 5-9 Big Ten)
P      Name    Yr.    Ht.    PPG

G    Te’Jon Lucas    Fr.    6-0    4.8

Tate: Illini hoops has unique coach quandary

In the last 11 years — directly after the magical 37-2 run by Illinois — squads from Indiana and Ohio State have won or shared seven Big Ten basketball championships. Seven of 11.

Illini Preview: 'It all starts with hustle plays'

Illinois coach John Groce discusses the challenge Northwestern will present on Tuesday night at State Farm Center, while Malcolm Hill differentiates between hustle and skill plays from the Illini's win at Iowa before also tackling the wildcats. Te'Jon Lucas touches on the fight Illinois still has and his banged up hand before closes it out sharing his thoughts on how he's played of late.

PODCAST: News Gazette Sports Page 02-20-17

PODCAST: News Gazette Sports Page 02-20-17: Play now!

Tonight's guests: State Wrestling Champions Justin Cardani (Champaign Centennial H.S.), Luke Luffman (Urbana H.S.), and Griffin Meeker (St. Joseph-Ogden H.S.).


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Feb. 23 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 2:00pm

Will Illinois basketball have any games beyond the Big Ten tournament? How is Lovie Smith's program faring through several spring practices? What area high school boys' basketball teams might make a run to Peoria? When do The News-Gazette All-Area teams for winter sports come out?

Feb. 23 prep sports chat

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 12:30pm

How impressive was the area wrestling scene this winter? What boys' basketball teams could go on a run to Peoria? How surprising it is that no girls' basketball team won a sectional title? What boys' swimmers have a chance to win a state title this weekend? Preps coordinator Anthony Zilis will take your questions at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, but feel free to send him some ahead of time.

Feb. 22 Illinois basketball chat

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 12:30pm

What seed with the Illini get at the Big Ten tournament? How is John Groce dealing with all the outside noise regarding his future? How is Illinois recruiting target Mark Smith faring down the stretch for Edwardsville? Will Illinois win on Sunday at Nebraska? Anything is fair game as beat writer Scott Richey answers your questions in his weekly 12:30 p.m. chat on Wednesday.

N-G Top 10: Boys' Basketball Week 13

Since losing to Champaign Central, Mahomet-Seymour has won seven games in a row as well as a Corn Belt title. That's why the Bulldogs are back at No. 1 in our weekly boys' basketball rankings. Here's the rundown from sports editor Matt Daniels.