Illinois Earns NCAA Bid, Set to Face UNLV
March 13, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS - The University of Illinois men's basketball team received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening and will face No. 8 seed UNLV in the second round on Friday, March 18 in Tulsa, Okla. Illinois is the No. 9 seed in the Southwest Region and will play the Rebels at approximately 8:20 p.m. CT on TBS, with Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Craig Sager on the call.
This marks the 29th NCAA appearance for the Fighting Illini, who are 38-29 all-time in tournament games. Illinois is 2-0 against UNLV in its history, knocking off the Rebels 84-74 on March 19, 1980 and 74-69 on Nov. 20, 2000.
With this season's expansion of the NCAA Tournament to include 68 teams, the Tuesday and Wednesday night (March 15-16) games in Dayton, Ohio, are now known as the first round. The Thursday and Friday matchups in the Round of 64 are known as the second round.
Illinois is one of seven Big Ten Conference schools to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, joining Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.