NCAA Tourney-Bound? Illini Basketball Still Has Work To Do

Tuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) On Monday morning, a Facebook friend posted a status asking where people thought Illinois will be seeded in the NCAA Tournament. His guess: as a No. 8 seed.

Later in the day, a co-worker told me his buddy, an Illinois alum, sent him a text on Sunday night after the Illini rallied to beat Minnesota on the road. The message breathlessly read: “We’re in!”

Meanwhile, my own friend also shot me a text after that big Illinois victory over the Gophers, asking the question: “Tournament?”

My answer: “Keep winning.”

Contrary to this pre-March Madness that’s suddenly sweeping through the Land of Lincoln following the giddy, four-day whirlwind during which Illinois upset both No. 1 Indiana and No. 18 Minnesota, the Fighting Illini are not yet in the NCAA Tournament.

In fact, at 4-7 in the Big Ten, they’re still not even close.

But it is true that the Illini can now see a tourney bid from here – as long as they don’t get caught looking ahead to it.

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