Lunardi drops Illini for NU in bracket

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi included Northwestern and dropped Illinois from his NCAA tournament bracket on Monday.

The Wildcats were among Lunardi’s last four teams in after they defeated Minnesota on Saturday. Lunardi has Northwestern as a No. 12 seed and facing fellow No. 12-seed Miami in a play-in game. Northwestern had previously been among his final four teams out.

Illinois was dropped from a No. 12 seed to not being included in the eight teams Lunardi had just outside of the tournament. The Illini have lost five games in a row and eight of their last nine.

Northwestern hosts No. 21 Michigan on Tuesday. The Wildcats are 16-10 overall and 6-8 in the Big Ten.

Illinois travels to Ohio State on Tuesday. The Illini are 16-11 overall and 5-9 in the Big Ten.