Chicago Colleges: Bracketology
Lunardi placed Northwestern as a No. 13 seed in the West bracket and has the Wildcats facing Texas in a play-in game. Northwestern has never been to the NCAA tournament.
Northwestern improved to 7-9 in the Big Ten by pulling out a 67-66 win over Penn State on Saturday. The Wildcats host No. 9 Ohio State on Wednesday and travel to Iowa on Saturday.
Northwestern was among seven Big Ten teams in Lunardi’s latest bracketology.
Illinois and Northwestern are moving in opposite directions in ESPN’s latest Bracketology on Friday.
Illinois dropped to a No. 10 seed in ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s predictions. The Illini have lost five of their last six games and have fallen into a three-way tie for sixth place in the Big Ten with a 5-6 record.
Northwestern is also 5-6 in the conference, but is heading upward. The Wildcats have won their last three games and now are knocking on the NCAA tournament door. Lunardi has Northwestern among the last four teams out of the tournament.
Sunday could be a key day for both teams. Illinois travels to No. 25 Michigan, and Northwestern goes to Purdue. The Wildcats lost to Purdue in Evanston last month.
Lunardi has eight Big Ten teams into the tournament with Minnesota and Purdue also currently sneaking in.
Lunardi placed the Illini as a No. 10 seed in the East region in his latest bracket on Monday. He has Illinois facing No. 7-seed Cincinnati in the first round with a possible second-round matchup against the winner of No. 2 Duke and No. 15 Long Island.
Illinois was one of six Big Ten teams in Lunardi’s bracket. Ohio State (No. 1 seed), Purdue (No. 2), Wisconsin (No. 3), Michigan State (No. 10) and Michigan (No. 12) were also selected.
Illinois (18-11, 8-8) travels to No. 6 Purdue (24-5, 13-3) in a key Big Ten game on Tuesday. The Illini close out their conference schedule with Indiana in Champaign on Saturday.