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Report: Illinois to host Thanksgiving weekend tournament

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The non-conference schedule is beginning to take shape.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

It was confirmed last week that the Emerald Coast Classic, scheduled to include Illinois, Florida, Oregon and Iowa State, was cancelled. It was also reported that Brad Underwood’s Fighting Illini were planning to fill that gap in the schedule by hosting a multi-team tournament of their own.

According to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, we now know who those other squads are.

Illinois would definitely be favored to win against each of those three opponents. While it certainly doesn’t have the same luster as the Emerald Coast Classic, this is a nice opportunity for the Illini to stack some wins in what could shape up to be a formidable non-league schedule — there are rumors of a top-10 matchup against Baylor in the Jimmy V Classic and a showdown with Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

It also presents an opportunity for Illinois fans to see Tim Finke return home — the Champaign Central grad (and younger brother of former Illini Mike Finke) transferred to Wright State after spending his freshman season at Grand Canyon.

We’ll have more details on the Illini’s schedule soon. Stay tuned.