Tulsa, Oklahoma, here the Illini come.
The University of Illinois managed to get into the NCAA tournament as the Illini received the nine seed in the Southwest region. While it was surprising to see the Illini being that high in the seeds, it was good to see that the selection committee has a sense of humor.
The Illini open tournament play against UNLV, who is coached by former Illini coach Lon Kruger. Kruger was there for four seasons (1996-2000) and led the team to three second round NCAA appearances. If the Illini get past UNLV, they will have a second round showdown with Kansas, who is coached by former Illini coach Bill Self. Self replaced Kruger at Illinois and was there for three seasons (2000-2003), leading the Illini to two Big Ten titles and three NCAA appearances, setting up Bruce Weber with players for the 2004-2005 runner-up squad.
A final part of humor was the location, Tulsa, where Bill Self led the Golden Hurricanes prior to his stint with the Illini.
The chances of the Illini making it out of Tulsa with two wins is slim, but it is safe to say a coach with Illinois ties will make it to the sweet sixteen. Thank you NCAA selection committee, at least you made the tournament fun for Illinois.
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