Illini Land at #12 in NCAA Tournament Committee's Early Top 16

IlliniGuys Staff

February 19, 2022

(Editor's note: updated to reflect Michigan State win)

NEW YORK -- The NCAA Selection Committee unveiled its early top 16 teams three weeks ahead of Selection Sunday and the Illinois Fighting Illini came in at #12.

The Illini are 19-7 overall and 12-4 in the Big Ten, just a half-game behind conference-leading Purdue.  The Illini have 12 wins vs. Quad 1 & 2 teams after defeating Michigan State on the road Saturday afternoon.

"This should serve as notice to Illinois fans that the suspension and injury situations the Illini have had to contend with this season will be a factor in determining their seed," says IlliniGuys co-owner and resident bracketologist Larry Smith. "Considering their remaining schedule and the competition they will face in next month's Big Ten tournament, getting 15 or 16 wins vs. the Quad 1 and 2 and climbing to a 2-seed is not out of the question."

The announcement held few surprises as Gonzaga was tabbed as the #1 overall seed, with Auburn, Arizona, and Kansas grabbing the other top spots.

The rest of the seeds are as follows:

2-seed: Baylor, Purdue, Kentucky, and Duke

3-seed: Villanova, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Illinois 

4-seed: Wisconsin, UCLA, Providence, Texas

The full 68-team field will be announced on Sunday, March 13th.

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