Top 10 stories of 2013 part two

Published 12/25 2013 10:46PM

Updated 12/25 2013 10:57PM

CHAMPAIGN -- The top 10 sports stories from Central Illinois in 2013 part two.

5.  The Illinois men's golf team made it all the way to the NCAA national championship match before losing to Alabama.  The Illini knocked off California and Texas to get there, two of the top ranked teams in the country.

4.  Illinois football upped its number of wins to four in head coach Tim Beckman's second season in Champaign, two more than his first year.  Offensive coordinator turned around an Illini offense but the defense continued to struggle as Illinois missed a bowl game for the second straight season.

3.  The Eastern Illinois football team had one of its best seasons in program history.  The Panthers won a school record 12 games and their first playoff game in more than two decades.  Walter Payton award winner Jimmy Garoppolo rewrote the record book, breaking nearly every passing record in school and Ohio Valley Conference history.  Head coach Dino Babers left EIU after the season, accepting a job at Bowling Green.

2.  Champaign Centennial standout Michael Finke signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at Illinois, joining Memphis product Leron Black in the Class of 2014.  Louisville point guard Quentin Snider decommitted from Illinois after giving his word he would join Groce's team a few months earlier.  And in one of the more memorable recruiting moments in Illinois history, Chicago Curie big man Cliff Alexander pump faked, reaching for an Illinois hat at his school decision announcement, before picking up a Kansas hat and becoming a Jayhawk.

1.  Illinois' upset of No. 1 Indiana was the third time in program history the Illini knocked off a top ranked team.  Tyler Griffey's layup as time expired was the game winning basket.  In his first season as head coach, John Groce guided the Illini to the third round of the NCAA tournament.  A close loss to Miami was the only thing that separated them from a Sweet 16 berth.

Here's part one:

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