Top of the Morning, March 14, 2024

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Warren Taylor can't think of a better 100th birthday present than a long NCAA tournament run — capped by a title on April 8 — for his favorite team.

The Monticello man has seen the Illini come mighty close his first 99 years, most recently 2005.

Like a lot of us, he keeps a schedule at home so he knows when to tune in. Like a lot of us, he loses it when the Illini play on a certain streaming service he doesn't get.

"He wasn't too happy the (Purdue) game was on Peacock," said his son, Doug.

Warren turns 100 on March 24, the same weekend he's counting on Brad Underwood's Illini to reach the Sweet 16. There will be an open house for Warren from 1-3 p.m. that day at Monticello United Methodist Church. Don't worry about gifts, Doug said, but "we would like to celebrate by showering him with cards." Mail birthday wishes to 917 Robert Webb, Monticello, IL, 61856.

A longtime farmer just outside Cerro Gordo, Warren retired in 1992 to dote on his two children, three grandchildren and fouir great-grandchildren.

"He's been a good influence on everyone," said Doug, not surprised Dad is closing in on 100. "He's a tough bird."