Illinois #19 in 11/14 AP Poll

#4      
So it will be #5 Baylor, #8 UCLA, #16 Virginia and #19 Illinois in Vegas this weekend.
That's the kind of tournament you want to be in! Zero bad losses to be had, and there will be two HUGE opportunities for Quad 1 neutral court victories this weekend. Regardless of what team we end up playing on Sunday, splitting this weekend 1-1 would be an incredible success for a team this young and new to playing together!
 
#5      
Climb that ladder!
sport racing GIF
 
#6      
That's the kind of tournament you want to be in! Zero bad losses to be had, and there will be two HUGE opportunities for Quad 1 neutral court victories this weekend. Regardless of what team we end up playing on Sunday, splitting this weekend 1-1 would be an incredible success for a team this young and new to playing together!
With the way the tournament is picked and seeded today, playing a brutal non-conference schedule is basically all upside no downside and the objectively correct thing to do.

(Which represents a success for the selection committee, because encouraging more fan and TV engaging non-conference scheduling was a major goal of the changes that were made. All positive developments for the sport as a whole.)
 
#8      
It's interesting how many Big Ten teams are closed to being ranked. We obviously had the pollsters "rate our conference accordingly" this year, given the poor NCAAT performance of the past two seasons, but there are still clearly some pretty good teams in the Big Ten just outside of the rankings:

Teams Receiving Votes:
Michigan State 119,
Purdue 104, Villanova 96, Miami (FL) 61, Saint Louis 47, Xavier 44, Ohio State 36, Oregon 36, Iowa 36, Memphis 20, Virginia Tech 13, Colorado 11, Arizona State 9, Toledo 8, Rutgers 8, Saint Mary's 7, Florida 5, UC Irvine 4, Grambling State 4, Seton Hall 3, Penn State 1

Some of these teams will have opportunities in the very near future to sneak into the top 25, too, which is objectively good for the conference and Illinois:

Michigan State: MSU plays #4 Kentucky in Indianapolis tomorrow, and then they play formerly-ranked Villanova at home on Friday. They'd probably need to beat UK to get ranked, as even if they give them a great game and lose and then beat Villanova, I can't see the pollsters ranking a 2-2 team this early.
Purdue: Likely will not get a chance to break in until Thanksgiving Weekend, when they will get a shot at #2 Gonzaga in Portland if they get past West Virginia.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes will get a shot at #17 San Diego State in Maui, with a likely chance vs. #14 Arizona if they win and another big-name opponent in the finals if they get that far.
Iowa: If Iowa beats Clemson in the Emerald Coast Classic on November 25th, they will likely play #15 TCU next. Given how TCU has looked, those are two very winnable games for the Hawkeyes.


We could very quickly start to hear the return of the "overrated Big Ten" narrative, even if we have won the games to earn those rankings.
 
#9      
With the way the tournament is picked and seeded today, playing a brutal non-conference schedule is basically all upside no downside and the objectively correct thing to do.

(Which represents a success for the selection committee, because encouraging more fan and TV engaging non-conference scheduling was a major goal of the changes that were made. All positive developments for the sport as a whole.)
This does make me wonder about the mid majors….

They already have a tough time getting quality opponents.