Well, the NCAA Tournament Selection Show has happened, and as expected, the Illinois Fighting Illini have once again been left out of the 68-team field. Even worse? The Orange and Blue weren’t even on the committee’s list of ‘First Four Out’ teams. Regardless, Illinois will still have an opportunity to hear their name called on Sunday night for the 2017 National Invitation Tournament.
California, Illinois State, Iowa, and Syracuse were the previously mentioned First Four Out of the NCAA Tournament, and as such, they’ll receive the No. 1 seeds in the NIT. That means Illinois will likely be named a No. 2 seed when the full bracket is announced.
The first four out are the top seeds in the NIT. Discover the rest of the field on the Selection Show at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. pic.twitter.com/gdJOYKtzHJ— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 12, 2017
Illinois fired head coach John Groce on Saturday afternoon, and he will not be leading his now-former team in any postseason games. Instead, assistant coach Jamall Walker will take over the role on an interim basis.
Lastly, the Fighting Illini will be able to host at least two rounds of the NIT in Champaign. If for some reason they run into a lower-seeded opponent past that date, they’ll need to play at an opposing venue due to prior arrangements at the State Farm Center.
2017 NIT Selection Show Information
Start Time: 7:30pm CT
TV Channel: ESPNU
Online Stream: WatchESPN