Illini Club hosts game watch at Old Chicago Dec. 21

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11351946066040.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of’, ‘Senior Illinois guard Dee Brown returns to the court to try to help the Illini to their second NCAA Championship game.’);

No. 9 Illini tip off against the unranked Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m.

The Rockford Area Illini Club’s (RAIC) second men’s basketball game watch of the 2005-06 season at Old Chicago features the Illini at home against the Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 21.

The Illini, currently 11-0 overall, are ranked No. 9 in the nation, while the unranked Tigers are currently 4-3 overall. The Illini are in search of their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship game. Illinois finished the 2004-05 regular season 32-0 before losing to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Championship game last March. RAIC members gathered at Old Chicago Nov. 29 to watch the Illini hold off a late charge by the Tar Heels to claim redemption in a 68-64 victory on the court at Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Dec. 21 game watch against the Missouri Tigers will feature drink specials, Illini shirt giveaways, contests and prizes.

Old Chicago, 6280 E. State St., was chosen by RAIC as the exclusive location of 2005-06 men’s basketball game watches. The restaurant and bar, near Burlington Coat Factory and Dick’s Sporting Goods in Rockford, boasts more than 75 seats in its smoking section and more than 130 seats in its non-smoking section. The family-friendly environment offers six 35-inch TVs, 11 27-inch TVs, and one 73-inch HDTV. In addition to regular daily specials, Illini food and drink specials will be offered throughout the night, including the “Orange Crush.” RAIC TV game watches are free and open to the public. Those attending are encouraged to wear orange and blue in support of the Fighting Illini.

RAIC is a social and service club for fans and alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), serving the four-county region of Boone, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago. About 450 fans and alumni are members of the club. RAIC has twice received the UIUC Alumni Association’s Outstanding Club distinction.

In addition to the Missouri game, RAIC plans the following TV game watches, all at Old Chicago: Thursday, Jan. 5, vs. Michigan State, 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 7, at Iowa, 1 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 14, vs. Michigan, 3:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Indiana, 6 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 25, vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Wisconsin, 6 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 19, vs. Indiana, 2:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 25, vs. Iowa, 5 p.m.; and Saturday, March 4, at Michigan State, TBA.

For information about RAIC, contact RAIC Board President Jerry Beger at 815-226-0824, e-mail the club at, or visit

From the Dec. 21-27, 2005, issue

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