Illinois basketball has announced two more pieces of their non-conference schedule on Thursday morning. As part of the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off, the Illini will host the Detroit Titans and Winthrop Eagles at State Farm Center this Winter.
ESPN has announced #Illini will host Detroit & Winthrop at SFC as part of @NITTipOff " https://t.co/ymuM54ADth pic.twitter.com/vSEKbB1BBI— Illini Basketball (@IlliniMBB) July 28, 2016
Detroit (16-15, 9-9) finished at sixth place in the Horizon League standings last year. Winthrop (23-9, 13-5), meanwhile, is coming off a regular season Big South Conference title.
As far as non-conference home games are concerned, these seem like two nice additions to Illinois' schedule. Detroit and Winthrop finished at No. 166 and No. 154, respectively, in last year's KenPom rankings, putting them just about on-par with bottom feeders from major conferences. Both contests should be relatively easy wins for the Fighting Illini without sacrificing too much in the way of schedule strength.
Illinois will face the West Virginia Mountaineers in the actual bracket of the tournament. The winner of that Thanksgiving Day game will go on to battle the victor of Florida State/Temple for the title. You can click here for more information on those games.