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50th Anniversary Events | Assembly Hall's Greatest Games

The University of Illinois is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Assembly Hall on March 2, 2013. In it's first 50 years, nearly 10 million fans have seen over 700 games at the Hall, creating countless memories.  We asked Fighting Illini fans to recall their personal memories, both for basketball and entertainment events, at the historic building. Here's what you had to say... 

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This Saturday when the Nebraska Cornhuskers come to town (4:15 pm tip on BTN) we'll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Assembly Hall. The grand opening of the $8.35 million architectural marvel was on March 2, 1963, exactly 50 years to the day from Saturday's game. During those first 50 years, the Fighting Illini have an impressive record of 553-149 (.787) in the building and have created countless memories for the more than 9.6 million fans that have come to watch them play. Below is a list of some of the Assembly Hall's greatest men's basketball moments. Tell us yours in the comments. 


Here's a look at the most viewed videos from the Fighting Illini Athletics YouTube channel (IlliniProductionsHD) from 2012, plus a couple Illini-related bonus videos that were either posted by another channel or fell just outside of 2012. These numbers are solely from the Illinois Athletics YouTube channel, so they don't include view counts from the fightingillini.com video player. Certainly some great moments to look back on this year. 

#1 - D.J. Richardson Game-Winning 3-Pointer at Hawaii 11/16 (55,000+ views in 2012)
A thrilling, late-night finish combined with no television and a shaky internet feed combined to make this video the most-watched video of 2012 on the Illinois Athletics YouTube channel with over 55,000 views in just over a month. The video of Richardson's game-winning three in Illinois' 78-77 overtime win is from the local station that aired the game in Hawaii and the audio is rough, but the shot was spectacular and this was the only way most Illini fans could see it. 


Canada-Bronze.jpgFormer Illini soccer star Emily Zurrer will return from London with a bronze medal after the Canadian women's soccer team defeated France 1-0 on Aug. 9 in the bronze medal match. Another former Illini will also return home with a medal, as Deron Williams and USA men's basketball will go for their second straight gold medal on Sunday, Aug. 12 (9 am CDT, live on NBC) in the Olympic final against Spain. 


Illini Olympic Central | Illini Photos | London 2012 | NBC Olympics

Deron-Lithuania-8.4-2.jpgFormer Fighting Illini continue to compete in London as USA basketball star Deron Williams and Team USA are well on their way to their second straight gold medal after a perfect 5-0 mark in group play. The medal round begins on Wednesday. Hurdler Nikkita Holder (Canada) has advanced out of the first round of the 100m hurdles with the semifinals and final coming on Tuesday. Meanwhile, recent alum Andrew Riley (Jamaica) will begin his Olympic quest on Tuesday with round 1 of the 110m hurdles.

Illini Olympic Central | Illini Olympic Photos | London 2012 | NBC Olympics


Arch-Dwill.jpgThree of the six former Fighting Illini standouts have begun competition in London. Basketball players Deron Williams (USA) and Robert Archibald (Great Britain) will each play their third game of pool play today in London, while former soccer star Emily Zurrer (Canada) had her second Olympic games cut short due to a hamstring injury. The three Illini track and field competitors will begin action soon, starting with USA discus thrower Gia Lewis-Smallwood on Friday, Aug. 3.

Illini Olympic Central | Illini Olympic Photos | London 2012 | NBC Olympics


Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Dec. 12-18). To close out the 2011 fall semester, the Illinois volleyball team wrapped up the best season in school history with a runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament. The Illini bested USC in a thrilling five-set match during the National Semifinal before coming up short against UCLA in the National Final. The wrestling team topped UT-Chattanooga in its first home match while the women's basketball team fell to Texas Tech at the United Center before splitting its games in Las Vegas.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Dec. 5-11). The volleyball team reached the Final Four for the first time since 1988 after getting past Ohio State in the Sweet 16 and Florida during the Regional Final in Gainesville. The No. 3 Illini will play No. 7 USC in the National Semifinal on Thursday night at 8 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas. The women's basketball team won its second game in a row, defeating Illinois State 66-56.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Nov. 28-Dec. 4). The volleyball team advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth year in a row after sweeping past Central Michigan and Marquette. The women's basketball team snapped a four-game skid with a road victory at Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge while the wrestling team fell 20-13 at No. 1 Iowa.



Dear Alumni, Students and Friends,

I thank you for your support of Fighting Illini football during the 2011 regular season. Our team has become bowl-eligible for the second-straight season, making it the first Illinois squad to do so since 1992. I look forward to joining them and our fans at our third bowl game in the last five years. An announcement concerning the exact bowl, date and time that our team will compete will be made in the very near future. As with all the latest news, please check FightingIllini.com.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Nov. 21-27). It was a light week for Illini Olympic sports over the Thanksgiving holiday with only volleyball and women's basketball in action. The volleyball team, who swept Northwestern and downed Iowa on Senior Night, tied for second in the Big Ten for the third year in a row and earned the No. 3 overall national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The women's basketball team competed at the San Juan Shootout and fell to Green Bay and Arizona State in Puerto Rico.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Nov. 14-20). The soccer team ended its run in the NCAA Tournament after dropping a 1-0 contest to No. 4 Oklahoma State in Stillwater. The volleyball team split its weekend in Michigan, falling 3-1 to Michigan State before rebounding with a 3-1 win over No. 23 Michigan. The women's basketball team beat Memphis at home but fell to Oregon and Cal on the road. Jim Riddle and Jordan Hebert competed at the NCAA Cross Country Championships to close out the season while the wrestling team picked up a pair of wins over Lehigh and Clarion.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Nov. 7-13). The soccer team topped Notre Dame, 1-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to play Oklahoma State. The volleyball team won a pair of matches over top-25 opponents in No. 9 Penn State and No. 22 Ohio State. The women's basketball team opened its season by splitting a pair of contests while swimming and diving won its fourth meet in a row. Men's cross country advanced two individuals to the NCAA Championships while the women's team wrapped up the year at the NCAA Midwest Regional. The wrestling team also went 4-0 over the weekend.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Oct. 31-Nov. 6). The soccer team won its first Big Ten Tournament title since 2003 after tallying three victories over Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State. The volleyball team fell at Purdue in a midweek match but bounced back with a win over Indiana. Dennis Nevolo highlighted men's tennis action with a runner-up finish at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships while the women's tennis team competed at Purdue. The swimming and diving team picked up three wins on the road, the women's golf team wrapped up its fall season with a second-place showing and the wrestling team kicked off its season.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Oct. 24-30). The soccer team ended the regular season by winning its eighth-consecutive game and will enter the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed. The volleyball team split a pair of matches, topping Wisconsin in the "Dig Pink" match before falling to Minnesota at home. Members of the men's gymnastics team helped the U.S. squad earn the bronze at the Pan American games while individuals from the men's tennis team competed at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. The cross country teams hosted the Big Ten Championships at the UI Arboretum while the swimming and diving team had its first road meet of the year.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Oct. 17-23). The soccer team picked up a pair of victories to extend its win streak to seven games and secure a runner-up finish in the conference. The volleyball team swept Northwestern before suffering its first defeat of the season with a four-set loss at Nebraska. The cross country teams, who competed at the Illini Open last week, are gearing up to host the Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Oct. 30. Both tennis squads continued fall action, the women's golf team earned a top-three finish at the Hoosier Invitational and the swimming and diving kicked off the season at home.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Oct. 10-16). The No. 1 volleyball team continued its undefeated season with a midweek win over No. 20 Michigan and a five-set victory over Michigan State on Saturday night. The soccer team jumped into second place in the Big Ten following a pair of 1-0 wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin. The men's golf team wrapped up its fall season with a third-place finish at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational and a third Big Ten Golfer of the Week accolade. Both cross country teams competed at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational and the men's tennis squad played at the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional. The women's golf team is currently playing in the final round of the Hoosier Fall Invitational while the swimming and diving team will kick off the season with Splash Bash.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Oct. 3-9). The No. 1 volleyball team remained perfect with a pair of Big Ten road wins, sweeping Ohio State and edging Penn State in five sets to end its 68-match Big Ten home winning streak. The soccer team won its third match in a row with a double-overtime victory at Michigan State. Both tennis teams were in action with fall competition while the men's and women's golf teams are currently in action at fall tournaments.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Sept. 26-Oct. 2). The No.1 volleyball team is the only undefeated team left in the nation after beating Indiana and undefeated Purdue at Huff Hall, and the soccer team bounced back with a pair of wins over both Indiana and Purdue as well. The men's golf team won its first tournament of the fall in dominating fashion at Illinois State while the Illini women's golf team finished fifth at its event in Kentucky. The women's cross country team was in action at a meet in Chicago, and both the women's tennis and softball teams continued their fall schedules.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Sept. 19-25). Following a pair of road wins at #9 Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Illinois volleyball team moved up to the No. 1 spot in the AVCA Top-25 poll for the first time in school history. The Illinois soccer team dropped a pair of contests to Big Ten foes while men's tennis and softball also continued their fall seasons over the weekend.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Sept. 12-18). The Illinois volleyball team won the Big Ten/Big East Challenge at Huff Hall, as they topped Cincinnati and Louisville to remain undefeated at 11-0 entering Big Ten play. The soccer team tied 2-2 with Iowa while both men's and women's cross country squads placed second at the Orange and Blue Preview. The women's golf team broke the school record and tied for second at the Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic, and the men's golf team tied for eighth in a loaded 15-team field at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational. Both men's and women's tennis teams also kicked off their fall seasons while softball was rained out.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Sept. 5-11). The Illini volleyball team remained unbeaten and won its third-consecutive tournament at the MTSU Invitational. The Illini soccer team split its weekend series at the LSU Invitational, dropping a match to No. 13 Pepperdine, 4-2, before drubbing Oregon, 5-0. The women's cross country team won the Bradley Open while both golf squads opened their fall seasons. The softball team also began its fall slate with a victory over Kankakee.



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Aug. 29-Sept. 4). Over the weekend, the Illini volleyball team won the State Farm Illini Classic and improved to 6-0 overall with victories over Tennessee, Houston and Dayton. The men's cross country squad won its seventh consecutive Illini Challenge while the women's team took third at the meet. The soccer team split a pair of contests, falling to USC on Friday and defeating Colorado on Sunday.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Aug. 22-28). Over the weekend, the #19 soccer team improved to 4-0 overall with a 5-0 victory over Ball State and a thrilling 2-1 overtime win against Louisville. The #8 volleyball team topped BYU, Saint Mary's and UC Santa Barbara in Provo, Utah, to win the BYU Nike Invitational.