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Tuesday, Aug. 27

Illinois men’s basketball schedule

[AUG. 27, 2002]  CHAMPAIGN — The 2002-03 Fighting Illini men’s basketball schedule was announced Monday. Highlighting the slate under third-year head coach Bill Self are eight games against NCAA tournament teams from a year ago, including two matchups with national runner-up Indiana and a showdown with Final Eight participant Missouri. The Illini are still working on a regular-season opener to be played in Champaign.

On Dec. 3, when the North Carolina Tar Heels come to town, Illinois will host an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game at the Assembly Hall for the first time in the four years of the challenge game’s existence. This will also be North Carolina’s first trip to Champaign since 1987 and the first visit to the Assembly Hall by an ACC team since the Illini defeated Georgia Tech in double overtime in 1989.

The Illini will appear nationally on ESPN for three consecutive Saturdays during the month of December, beginning Dec. 7 against Arkansas in Little Rock. Illinois will face Temple at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 14, and the Illini and the Missouri Tigers will square off in the annual border war game at the Savvis Center in St. Louis on Dec. 21.

The Illini also host a Big Ten home game away from the Assembly Hall when they take on Northwestern Feb. 22 at the United Center in Chicago.

"We have a good, competitive schedule this year," Self said. "We play some of the premier programs in the nation but also several home games that will hopefully allow us to grow as a team prior to Big Ten play."

Illinois will appear a total of six times on ESPN, twice on ESPN2 and four times on CBS (with the possibility of a fifth game) during the 2002-03 season.

The Illini begin Big Ten play on the road for the first time since 1999 as the team travels to Minnesota to open the conference slate Jan. 7. Big Ten teams that the Illini will play just once during the 16-game conference schedule are the same four as last season: Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State.

Remaining television and game-time information will be released when available.


2002-03 Illinois men’s basketball schedule (as of Aug. 26)

Date, opponent, time (CST), TV

Friday, Oct. 11 — Midnight Madness (at Huff Hall), 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 26 — Orange and Blue scrimmage, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 12 — Spotlight Jammers (exhibition), 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 15 — EA Sports All-Stars (exhibition), 7 p.m.

November date to be announced — TBA

Wednesday, Nov. 27 — Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 7 p.m., TBA

Sunday, Dec. 1 — Western Illinois, 2 p.m., TBA

Tuesday, Dec. 3 — North Carolina (ACC/Big Ten Challenge), 8:30 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday, Dec. 7 — vs. Arkansas (at Little Rock), 6 p.m., ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 10 — Eastern Illinois, 7 p.m., TBA

Saturday, Dec. 14 — Temple (Chevrolet Shootout at United Center, Chicago), 11 a.m., ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 21 — vs. Missouri (at Savvis Center, St. Louis), 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 28 — North Carolina-Greensboro, 7 p.m., TBA

Monday, Dec. 30 — Coppin State, 7 p.m., TBA


[to top of second column in this article]

Saturday, Jan. 4 — Oakland, 7 p.m., TBA

Tuesday, Jan. 7 — at Minnesota, 6 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Jan. 11 — Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m., ESPN Plus regional

Wednesday, Jan. 15 — at Iowa, 8 p.m., ESPN Plus local

Saturday, Jan. 18 — at Indiana, 3 p.m., CBS

Wednesday, Jan. 22 — Purdue, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday, Jan. 25 — at Penn State, 11:15 a.m., ESPN Plus regional

Wednesday, Jan. 29 — Michigan, 7 p.m., ESPN Plus local

Sunday, Feb. 2 — at Michigan State, noon, CBS

Sunday, Feb. 9 — Ohio State, noon, CBS

Saturday, Feb. 15 — at Purdue, 7 p.m., ESPN Plus local

Tuesday, Feb. 18 — Michigan State, 6 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Feb. 22 — Northwestern (at United Center, Chicago), 1 p.m., CBS

Tuesday, Feb. 25 — Indiana, 8 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, March 1 — at Michigan, 11:15 a.m., ESPN Plus regional

Wednesday, March 5 — at Wisconsin, 8 p.m., ESPN Plus local

Saturday, March 8 — Minnesota, 3:30 or 7 p.m., ESPN Plus regional or ESPN Plus local;

or Sunday, March 9 — Minnesota, 1 p.m., CBS

March 13-16 — Big Ten tournament, at United Center, Chicago (schedule below)

March 20-23 — NCAA tournament, first and second rounds

March 27-30 — NCAA tournament regionals

April 5, 7 — NCAA Final Four, New Orleans

Note: Dates, times and TV coverage subject to change.


Big Ten tournament schedule

United Center, Chicago

Thursday, March 13 — First round

Game 1:  No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed, 11 a.m., ESPN

Game 2:  No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 3:  No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 seed, 4:05 p.m., ESPN2

Friday, March 14 — Quarterfinals

Game 4:  Game 1 winner vs. No. 1 seed, 11 a.m., ESPN

Game 5:  No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 6:  Game 2 winner vs. No. 2 seed, 5:40 p.m., ESPN Plus

Game 7:  Game 3 winner vs. No. 3 seed, 8:10 p.m., ESPN Plus

Saturday, March 15 — Semifinals

Game 8:  Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 12:40 p.m., CBS

Game 9:  Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 3:05 p.m., CBS

Sunday, March 16 — Championship

Game 10:  Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 2:30 p.m., CBS

[Kent Brown, U of I]

Articles from the past week


  • Mayfield’s Mutterings...
    ‘Fandamonium’ opening tonight
    Lincoln/Logan County Chamber, team of the week
  • Lincoln vs. Yankees in Wooden Bat League


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  • Dingman curious heading into Saturday’s public scrimmage

‘Fandamonium’ opening tonight

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber, team of the week

By Jeff Mayfield

[AUG. 26, 2002]  As a semiprofessional sports writer you hate to ever start a piece by leading in with a confession or an apology. But under the category of shameless promotion, I am forced once again to give you a disclaimer.

Almost three years ago, I got my start with the LDN sports department in what I thought might be a very short-lived endeavor. Three years later we’re going strong, and new possibilities are cropping up every day. One such opportunity has presented itself currently.

My good friend Greg Taylor and I will be hosting a new concept for our area, starting tonight in beautiful downtown Lincoln. We will be simulcasting our sports show via Lincoln Daily News and FIX 96.3 radio from our own local cable station, LogOn Productions, Channel 15. The simulcast will start at 6 p.m. and run an hour. Our goal in the future is to be your sports hangout leading into "Monday Night Football."

To say that we’re excited about this development would be a huge understatement. But actually it’s you loyal LDN readers and FIX 96 listeners who made this thing happen. Apparently dozens of you have been talking up our show at the doughnut shops and the local eateries. The right people overheard some of those conversations, and then I was approached about our interest.

Jim Ash of FIX 96 and Tim and Celeste Rogers of LogOn took it from there. They have worked very hard on this concept all summer long. Tests have been conducted to see how well this format will work, and the possibilities are getting more exciting by the moment.


Just for clarification’s sake. Tim, Celeste and Jim are all professionals; Greg and I are not. The only time we can give them is whatever free time our wives graciously allow us from "honey do" list work and family stuff. I’m sure it would be easier for the professionals to work with other professionals, but we do come cheaply. We also love to do it.

Our jobs have intensified so much in the last couple of years that oftentimes we haven’t even mulled over any sports stuff until we go on the air. So this program, along with our work with the LDN, really gives us a chance to put a handle on things.

On the weekends I try to make a mental note of what sports things people are talking about at Mel-O-Cream, at Guzzardo’s, at Bonanza, while I’m shopping downtown on the square or wherever I am. I then make a list… and if you’ve read our stuff or heard our show you know that we’ve covered more ground than we probably even should have.

BUT, we were serious when we said that this is YOUR paper and this new show is YOUR show.

We do have a few sports and a few athletes that are probably our favorites, but I’m not going to apologize for that. Many of these people and sports have been loyal to me through the years, and if you can’t understand that you never would anyway. For instance, we’re going to root like crazy for Illinois, Illinois State and Lincoln athletic teams. They give us access to their players and to their sports. We think that since we live in this area that most people occasionally care about how our local teams are doing. On the other hand, we’re not going to belittle you if you happen to root for Georgetown, let’s just say. We might ask you why... but we’ll try not to make it personal.


[to top of second column in this article]

There is ONE THING that I would like to ask ALL of our great area residents. Many of you told me during the school year that you listened to Greg and me on the air but that you didn’t call in because you thought that your comment or question wasn’t going to help the show. PLEASE don’t think that. Every single person that has called in, with the exception of Donnie Aeilts (we busted him when he called in), has made a positive impact on the show. In reality, the success of "Fandamonium" will rest in your hands.

Oh, don’t worry about Greg and me. We’ll have plenty of material. Our friends comfort us often by saying that we could spend hours talking about nothing because we just like to hear our own voices. Isn’t it great to have encouraging, supportive pals?

We promise to do our part to make this one of the most exciting new shows on Channel 15 and on the FIX 96 networks. We hope to do some zany and absolutely crazy things that will help rescue YOUR Mondays and get the rest of your work week off to a great start. We hope to do some remote broadcasts, and we hope to interview some celebrities and bring them right into your homes each week.

This very first week we plan to spend some time promoting the re-emergence of Lincoln High School football. If head coach John Oaks is available, we hope to have him in the studio tonight for our very first telecast. This man and his staff have poured themselves into this football program. In some ways, that alone should command some of our respect. I’m hearing good things about Railer football on the streets… I hope you hear them straight from the horse’s mouth tonight on our first installment of "Fandamonium!"

Other guests have been contacted, and we think you will really enjoy hearing from local as well as national celebrities. It could be an amazing ride, and we’d like you to take the journey with us.

So, set your radio dial to FIX 96.3, your TV dial to 15 and your browser to Lincoln Daily News, and the world will be a better place in which to live.

Have a great week, everybody. See YOU tonight at 6!!!


Team of the week

I go outside of the sports bubble to name my TOW for this week. The winner: Bobbi Abbott, her chamber of commerce staff and hundreds of volunteers from Vern Turner on down.

I love this festival! I love the art and I love the balloons! These selfless workers basically killed themselves for several months so that our community could have an event that we could all be proud of — not to mention the thousands of badly needed dollars that are trickling through our town because of their efforts. I never want to take any of them for granted — and just in case no one has bothered to say thank you to any of you great volunteers, on behalf of the LDN, I say THANK YOU by naming you as my team of the week!!!

[Jeff Mayfield]

[Aug. 19 column:  "August mutterings...
Gearing up for another great year of sports


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