Illini earn No. 2 seed in Big Ten Tournament

After finishing regular season play as the Big Ten runner-up, the Fighting Illini have been given an opening-round bye in the 2009 Big Ten Tournament, according to a press release.

With the No. 2 seed, the Illini will play their first game on Friday, in the quarterfinal round. At 5:30 p.m. they face the winner of Michigan vs. Iowa. The game will be televised by Big Ten Network.

The Illini fell out of AP college basketball rankings this week, after a loss to Penn State on March 5. They had been ranked for the last seven weeks and reached as high as No. 18.

Illinois dropped to No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.