We already knew that Illinois was one of four teams participating in the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off, but their exact opponent had remained a mystery until Thursday. The tournament finally unveiled their bracket, and the Fighting Illini will square off against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Thanksgiving Day at 1:30pm CT.
Here's a closer look at the schedule, which includes a tilt between the Florida State Seminoles and Temple Owls on the other side the bracket. All games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. If you're interested in attending the game(s) at Barclays Center, tickets will go on sale the morning of Friday, July 22.
So, yeah, West Virginia should be a really interesting test for Malcolm Hill and the Illini. The Mountaineers (26-5, 13-5) finished second behind Kansas in the Big 12 last season and, although they ultimately lost in the First Round, they received a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Outside of leading scorer Jayseason Paige (13.7 PPG), West Virginia returns every other major contributor from that roster.
How do you think Illinois will do in this tournament? Make sure to vote in our poll question.