Illini seeded No. 5 in NCAA Tournament, will play No. 12-seeded Hilltoppers

By Meghan Montemurro

Illinois received the No. 5 seed in the South region and will travel to Portland, Ore., to play No. 12-seeded Western Kentucky on Thursday. The winner will face the No. 4 Gonzaga-No. 13 Akron winner.

Michigan State received the highest seed for the Big Ten at No. 2 in the Midwest region and will open play in Minneapolis against No. 15-seeded Robert Morris. Ohio State, which lost to Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament final, was seeded No. 8 and will travel to Dayton, Ohio. The Buckeyes will play No. 9-seeded Siena.

In the West region, Purdue is the No. 5 seed and travels to Portland, Ore., to face No. 12-seeded Northern Iowa.

The East region boasts two Big Ten teams: No. 10-seeded Minnesota, which will face No. 7 Texas in Greensboro, N.C., and No. 12-seeded Wisconsin, which plays No. 5-seeded Florida State in Boise, Id.

Michigan was seeded No. 10 in Illinois’ South region and plays

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No. 7 Clemson.

A total of seven Big Ten teams made the tournament – which tied for most bids awarded to one conference – with Penn State being left on the bubble.

Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Connecticut and Louisville were awarded No. 1 seeds, with the Cardinals receiving the overall No. 1 seed. The Big East is the first conference to have three No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.