Chicago Colleges: Joe Lunardi

First look at possible 2012 NCAA bracket

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
2:37
PM CT
ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi unveiled his first 2012 NCAA tournament bracket on Monday, and Illinois was the state's lone representative.

Lunardi had the Illini barely making it into the tournament, receiving a No. 11 seed and playing No. 6 Baylor in the round of 64. Illinois was a No. 9 seed in 2011, defeated UNLV in the round of 64 and lost to Kansas in its following game.

Lunardi had seven Big Teams in his bracketology. Illinois was joined by Ohio State (No. 1 seed), Purdue (No. 4), Wisconsin (No. 5), Michigan (No. 6), Michigan State (No. 9) and Indiana (No. 12). The Hoosiers last reached the tournament in 2008.

The Big East led the field with nine teams and was followed by the Big Ten and ACC with seven. Notre Dame was among the Big East teams not included in the bracket.

Lunardi believes Illinois can stop worrying

March, 13, 2011
3/13/11
1:07
PM CT
Illinois is worried about its NCAA tournament chances.

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi says there's no reason to worry.

Lunardi has Illinois locked into the NCAA tournament in his latest bracketology on Sunday. The Illini are No. 41 out of the 45 teams Lunardi believes has a 90 percent chance or better to be included in the tournament field.

Lunardi has Illinois as a No. 11 seed playing No. 6 UNLV in Tampa, Fla. in the opening round of the East bracket.
Notre Dame continued to be a No. 1 seed in Sunday's bracketology. They Irish are predicted to play No. 16 Akron in Chicago in the Southeast region.

Seven Big Ten teams also remained in Sunday's bracket. Illinois is joined by Ohio State (No. 1 seed), Purdue (No. 4), Wisconsin (No. 4), Michigan (No. 11), Michigan State (No. 11) and Penn State (No. 12).

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