In head coach John Groce's first season as the head man in Champaign, the Fighting Illini were selected as the seventh seed in the East region, opening their 2013 NCAA tournament experience this coming Friday.
Illinois missed March Madness in 2012, after winning one game during the 2011 tournament over UNLV before falling to Kansas. This leaves each player on the Illini roster having only played in two or zero career NCAA tournament contests.
With a senior-heavy lineup however, don't sleep on this Illinois team who have shocked the college basketball world time and time again in 2012-13. In a season where expectations were low, this up-and-down season could get even more exciting and unpredictable within the next few weeks.