NIT 2014: No. 2 Illinois Faces No. 7 Boston University in First Round

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, March 19th, 6pm CT on ESPN 2

The Fighting Illini will kick off their NIT journey against Boston U on Wednesday night at 6pm on ESPN 2 continuing this roller coaster of a season. An NCAA berth was the expectation of this team before this season started. By the time the conference schedule came into play, most of us were thinking of a possible higher seed in the NCAA bracket.

January arrived and left bringing along with it a polar vortex as well as the longest losing streak an Illinois basketball team has seen in 40 years. Then, in typical late season John Groce fashion, the team decided to show signs of hope. After winning five of six to end the season and begin the Big Ten Tournament, Illinois lost a heart breaker to Michigan bringing any possibility of an NCAA tourney birth to an end.

Before we briefly glance at the Illini's seed and matchup in the NIT, many Illlinois fans seem to be having trouble getting over the last minute of the loss to Michigan. Everyone, please realize that John Groce's decision to switch back to man-to-man on defense and the missed runner by Tracy Abrams are not the reasons why this team isn't playing in the NCAA Tournament this year. If you're looking to blame anything, blame the month of the January. A win over Northwestern or Purdue would have likely put Illinois on the bubble. A win over both, and we're all probably celebrating a 10 seed out West.

Let's move on.

Illinois, as a 2 seed, will face the seventh seeded Terriers of Boston University on their home court this Wednesday night. What should Illinois expect from the regular season champs of the Patriot League? Well, based on their showing in the conference tournament final, not a lot of scoring. American held the Terriers to 36 points. A battle tested Illini defense should be able to hold their own in this game, but more analysis on this matchup will come out shortly.

In the meantime, good luck filling out your brackets. One billion dollars is at stake.

G - O Illini GO!

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_
Room
and
Like us on Facebook. You can follow Matt Zidow on Twitter at @MZDiddy12.


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Champaign Room

You must be a member of The Champaign Room to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Champaign Room. You should read them.

Join The Champaign Room

You must be a member of The Champaign Room to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Champaign Room. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker