The Daily Illini

Your guide to choosing the perfect NCAA bracket

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo watches second-half action on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. (Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

By Dan Escalona

March 15, 2016

Tweet: College basketball columnist @danescalona77 gives you some tips for your #NCAA bracketAt long last, March Madness has arrived. It comes as the perfect antidote to any frustration caused by primary season. If you need any last-minute assistance in creating the “perfect” bracket, just check ...

Big Ten tournament last chance to make impression

Illinois' Michael Finke drives to the basket during the Illini's 84-70 victory over the Boilermakers at State Farm Center on Sunday, January 10.

By Dan Escalona

March 8, 2016

Tweet: Each Big Ten tournament team has one last thing to prove in the conference tournamentThink of college basketball's conference tournament week as the last step in the vetting process before being welcomed into an exclusive club. Most of the Big Ten’s best bets have already entered th...

The 5 sports jerseys you'll see on Unofficial at Illinois

The 5 sports jerseys you'll see on Unofficial at Illinois

By Kevin McCarthy

March 2, 2016

Sports jerseys may as well be legally required to get into campus bars. So much so that they seem to be more important than actually being of legal age.But that’s a discussion for another day.I’ve seen every jersey from Donald Duck to Yao Ming on Green Street. There’s a lot of in-between on th...

What to do if you weren't named Illinois' athletic director

New Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman speaks to the media during his introductory press conference on Feb. 18.

By Kevin McCarthy

February 24, 2016

#Illini columnist Kevin McCarthy is at a loss now that Josh Whitman took his job. Where does he go from here?Josh Whitman took my job.To say I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the job would be an understatement. I feel worse for the fans who wanted me in office.I know you’re disappointed, Illinois...

The futility of doubting Michigan State

Michigan State's Denzel Valentine celebrates after a 74-65 win against Maryland on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. (Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

By Dan Escalona

January 26, 2016

Tweet: With help from neon, lime green uniforms, Michigan State back on trackMaybe it was the neon green uniforms, but Michigan State was powered by a strange, new energy source Saturday against Maryland. Not only did the Spartans end their three-game losing streak, they kindly reminded the rest of th...

Iowa on its way to owning Big Ten in 2016

Michigan State's Eron Harris, left, is defended by Iowa's Dom Uhi during the first half at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, Mich., on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Iowa won, 76-59. (Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

By Dan Escalona

January 19, 2016

Tweet: Forget the Spartans, the Big Ten is Iowa’s to lose, writes college hoops columnist @danescalona77Football season may still be seven months away, but Iowa is making its best attempt at revenge for the Big Ten Championship game on the basketball court — not the gridiron.In case you hav...

Illini resolutions for 2016

Illinois head coach John Groce looks down in disbelief during the game against Yale at the State Farm Center on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. The Illini won 69-65.

By Kevin McCarthy

January 18, 2016

Let me tell you a story.When I was nine years old, I rode my first-ever roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida. I’ll cut to the chase: It turned me green.As bad as the experience was for my weak stomach on that beautiful Florida day, it was actually far worse for my father. He ended...

Spartans drive and reach toward playoff, setting up Big Ten-SEC showdown with Crimson Tide

Michigan State running back LJ Scott (3) dives in for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. The Spartans won, 16-13. (Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

By Dan Escalona

December 8, 2015

Michigan State and Iowa were preparing for a fourth-and-goal situation with a College Football Playoff spot at stake. However, before that could occur, LJ Scott reached across the goal line, driving the Spartans past the Hawkeyes and into the CFP.In might be time to start referring to the play as “T...

Championship week chaos leaves opening for two Big Ten team playoff

Alabama running back Derrick Henry, middle, breaks away from Georgia defenders Dominick Sanders (24) and Aaron Davis (35) for a touchdown in the first half on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, at Sanford Stadium in Athens. Alabama won, 38-10. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

By Dan Escalona

December 1, 2015

Can a dominant win over Michigan — and equal amounts of luck — grant Ohio State the chance to defend it’s title?Can Iowa silence its critics and continue 2015’s most surprising run all the way to the CFP?Can Michigan State revive its seemingly once crushed playoff hopes?Can Florida or N...

Cubit's career at Illinois could hinge on Minnesota game

Coach Bill Cubit shares stern words during the game against Middle Tennessee State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 26. Illinois won 27-25.

By Peter Bailey-Wells

November 19, 2015

If, prior to the 2015 Illinois football season, you had told me Minnesota would be the biggest game of Bill Cubit’s career, I would have probably laughed at you.But the Illini will travel to Minneapolis for the game of Cubit’s life — win, and his team is bowl eligible or lose, and likely lose all oppo...

College football weekend seems primed to put pressure on the selection committee

Oklahoma wide receiver Jeffery Mead (15) tries to get under a Baker Mayfield pass in the third quarter against Kansas State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Oklahoma won, 55-0. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS)

By Dan Escalona

November 17, 2015

Here it is, folks: the impending arrival of possibly the most important weekend in the uneasy sprint to the College Football Playoff.This weekend will either serve to slightly clarify the top four contenders or blur the race even further.Not only will Nov. 21 be a season-defining week for many playoff hop...

Fantasy Doctor: Priming for playoffs

 New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola breaks free from Baltimore Ravens strong safety James Ihedigbo following a reception during the first half of their game in Baltimore on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. (Doug Kapustin/MCT)

By Joey Figueroa

November 17, 2015

Tweet: The Fantasy Doctor @joeyfigueroa3 is back with his week 11 picks, and to get your team ready for the playoffs.It was quite the bittersweet Week 10 for your beloved Fantasy Doctor.I’m back to my winning ways with a 3-0 week across three leagues, but once again, a huge injury has hampered my spirits. Julia...

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