For those who missed the epic ending in Champaign last night, hit the play button above. You're welcome.
You're killing, me Illini fans. Really. I wrote extensiviely about how well the Illlini were playing through December, only to collapse early in Big Ten play just like last year. This made things easy for me, because despite their resume there was no way they could be considered for at-large selection at 2-7 in Big Ten play. Now things have become much more complicated. Illinois now boasts epic wins over what was 1 seed Indiana (more on them later), 2 seed Gonzaga, 3 seed Butler, and 5 seed Ohio State. But they're an awful 3-7 in conference play. There is one example in the history of the NCAA at-large berths where a team got selected being four games below .500 in conference. That being said, there are plenty of examples of teams that finished 8-10 in conference and received an at-large. I'm not comfortable quite (yet) including them back in my bracket, but as soon as they get within three games of .500 in Big Ten play, they'll immediately move back in.
*Note: to get to eight wins, the Illini need to win the following games and lock up an NCAA bid: Purdue, @Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, and one of ANY of their games @Minnesota, @Iowa, Ohio State, @Michigan.
Growing up outside of Richmond, Virginia in the heart of ACC Country, college hoops was set into the fabric of Rusty Tutton at an early age. A 2008 graduate of VCU, he lives in the Fan District of Richmond and works full-time in higher education.