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Monday, March 7, 2011
Bracketology: Illinois up to No. 9 seed

By Scott Powers

Illinois gave itself some NCAA tournament security over the weekend, according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi.

The Illini (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten) moved up one seed to a No. 9 seed in Lunardi’s latest bracket on Monday. He has Illinois facing No. 8-seeded George Mason in Charlotte, N.C. in the opening round of the West bracket.

Illinois kicks off the Big Ten tournament against Michigan on Friday. The Wolverines and Illinois are among six Big Ten teams Lunardi has making the NCAA tournament. Ohio State (No. 1 seed), Purdue (No. 3), Wisconsin (No. 4) and Michigan State (No. 12) are the others.

Notre Dame (25-5, 14-4 Big East) remained as a No. 2 seed in Lunardi’s bracket. He has the Irish playing No. 15-seeded Milwaukee in Chicago in the East bracket.