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Illinois rolls into NCAA Tournament as No. 1 seed after Big 10 Tournament title

The Illini have been one of the best teams in the country all season long. Now, they're a No. 1 seed and looking to get back to the Final Four

INDIANAPOLIS — The Illinois Fighting Illini are riding their hot streak as one of the best teams in the country all the way into the NCAA Tournament.

Illinois is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region and will take on Drexel on Friday.

The Illini were 23-6 on the season and beat Ohio State 91-88 in overtime to win the Big 10 Tournament title on Sunday.

Illinois has been consistently ranked as one of the top teams in the country all season long, and are one of the favorites to reach the Final Four in Indianapolis.

This is the first tournament appearance for Illinois since 2013, where they lost in the third round. Illinois last made the Final Four in 2005 where they lost to North Carolina in the championship game.

In the second round, Illinois would be staring down a battle between either Loyola Chicago or Georgia Tech.

March Madness 2021 schedule

The overall tournament schedule has been shifted a bit for 2021.  

In recent years, the First Four would take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the First Round on Thursday and Friday, and the Second Round on Saturday and Sunday. 

This year, the First Four will feature one day of action on Thursday, March 18. Then, the First Round gets underway on Friday, March 19. 

The schedule for the 2021 games:

  • Selection Sunday: March 14
  • First Four: Thursday, March 18, starting at 3 p.m. Central
  • First round: Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20, starting at 11 a.m. Central 
  • Second round: Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22, starting at 11 a.m. Central 
  • Sweet 16: Saturday, March 27 (1 p.m. Central start) and Sunday, March 28 (Noon Central start)
  • Elite Eight: Monday, March 29 (6 p.m. Central start) and Tuesday, March 30 (5 p.m. Central start)  
  • Final Four: Saturday, April 3, starting at 4 p.m. Central
  • NCAA championship: Monday, April 5 at 8 p.m. Central

College basketball fans will be able to stream all of the games online this year at NCAA March Madness Live.

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