Let’s try this again.
One year after being named a 1-seed and getting bounced in the Round of 32 by an in-state foe, Illinois heard its name called for the 2022 bracket.
Brad Underwood’s squad was selected as 4-seed in the South Region during Sunday’s selection show. Illinois’ Round of 64 opponent will be Chattanooga out of the Southern Conference.
While the Illini’s regular season (22-8, 15-5 Big Ten) ended with a bang (co-champions with Wisconsin), recent postseason runs ended with a whimper.
First, there was last season’s disappointing loss to Loyola-Chicago, which ended the college career of Illinois legend Ayo Dosonmu.
And then when it came to this week’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, the Illini weren’t able to defend their 2021 title, after 9-seed Indiana held off a late run and won by 2.
It’s fair to say all Illini fans have bigger hopes for this NCAA Tournament run, but with a team that battled suspensions, injuries and cold stretches all season, it’s not very clear on what team will show up next week.
Here’s hoping the Illini make it to the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since 2005.
For more headlines, analysis and predictions leading up to the Round of 64, keep it here with TCR.