March 4, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bruce Weber protests a call as his team plays the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Illinois 70-56. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

Big Ten notebook: Weber fired by Illinois


As expected after Illinois lost to Iowa on Thursday in the Big Ten tournament, Illini head coach Bruce Weber was fired.

Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bruce Weber protests a call as his team plays the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Illinois 70-56. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

If Illinois makes a postseason tournament (most likely the NIT), Weber will not be the coach.

The school is expected to pay the nearly $4 million buyout left on Weber’s contract.

When Weber first joined the team he had a ton of success with a Sweet 16 berth and a National Final appearance in 2005, losing to North Carolina in the title game. Since, Weber’s teams have disappointed.

ESPN Chicago reported that Weber will likely head back to Southern Illinois where he coached prior to taking the head job at Illinois.

There will be many coaches lined up to take over for Weber, one of the better jobs in the country for sure. Among the candidates is Shaka Smart, who is the coach at VCU. Smart led the Rams to the Final Four a year ago.

Indiana loses Jones III

Michigan State fans can feel the pain of Indiana fans today. The Hoosiers lost senior point guard Verdell Jones III for the season Thursday in the win over Penn State.

Jones II torn his right ACL in the game.

Indiana plays Wisconsin later today.

Tags: Big Ten Basketball Bruce Weber Illinois Basketball Indiana Basketball Popular Verdell Jones III