The daily pitch from Sports Editor Matt Daniels: May 10, 2024

May 10—➜ . That hasn't happened for some time, but Illinois is chasing its first Big Ten regular-season title since 2015. The chance to keep Purdue, Indiana, Nebraska and Iowa at bay in the Big Ten standings begins Friday night when the Illini host Iowa at Illinois Field.

➜ . It wasn't that long ago the Illini were at the bottom of the league, but if the indoor season showed anything, this might be a weekend to remember.

➜ . The Class 1A and 2A playoffs begin on Monday before continuing throughout next week. Get out to a game — or three — and enjoy.

First-place finishes by area boys' track and field athletes at the Big 12 Conference Meet on Wednesday night at McKinley Field in Champaign. Centennial junior continued his stellar season by winning the high jump with a clearance of 6 feet, 8 3/4 inches. Danville freshman swept the 100-meter dash (10.88 seconds) and the 200 (21.73), while Champaign Central sophomore won the 300 hurdles (41.07). Centennial, which had the best area showing with a fourth-place team finish, also placed first in two relays. , , and won the 800 relay (1:29.57), with Bradley, Kalal, Wilson and winning the 1,600 relay (3:23.97).

➜ . The former Illini men's basketball standout is set to appear before a Kansas judge at 9 a.m. Friday, the next step in his legal case after he was charged with rape in late December relating to an alleged incident in Lawrence, Kan., last September.

➜ . The three-day event starts Friday, continues Saturday and concludes Sunday, with the Illini looking to contend for first place while in Ann Arbor, Mich.

➜ . The Class 1A regional semifinal match gets underway at 10 a.m. Saturday on the turf field at the Wilkey Complex between the host and third-seeded Sages (20-3) and fifth-seeded Sabers (6-10-1).

➜ the Chicago Bears.

➜ Lou Holtz, John Madden and Bill Walsh.

➜ people who think they are entitled.