Northwestern University, U of I First Appear in March Madness Brackets – NBC Chicago

The two Illinois Big Ten teams in the March Madness installments for the first time originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

For the first time ever, Illinois’ two great teams will compete in the NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The last time — or rather the first time — the Northwest Wildcats made an NCAA appearance was in 2017. Fighting Illini, meanwhile, have appeared in the tournament 32 times.

The Wildcats and Illini are ranked in the west bracket region. Northwestern, the No. 7 seed, takes on No. 10 Boise St. Thursday at 6:35 p.m. Earlier in the day, No. 9 seed Illinois will face No. 8 seed Arkansas at 3:30 p.m.

Experts say these slices keep employees busy — and cost employers money — because distracted workers across the country will soon pay more attention to their slices than to their work. Reports show that March Madness is costing employers an estimated $17 billion in lost wages.

That’s $2.5 million for every hour people participate in March Madness, instead of focusing on work.

But back to parentheses.

The odds of filling a perfect NCAA tournament bracket are an impossible task, but there are other ways college basketball fans can beat the odds in March.

If you’re looking for a real Cinderella, go straight to seeds #16.

Four of the six No. 16 seeds have +100,000 chances to win the national title: Howard, Southern Missouri State, Texas A&M-CC and Texas Southern. These schools are also joined by No. 15 UNC Asheville for the lowest odds to win it all.

Northern Kentucky is the only No. 16 seed with odds over +100,000. The Horizon League champions are at +50,000 odds and open their tournament haul against Houston on Thursday night.

Fairleigh Dickinson and Princeton are not on the PointsBet board. Fairleigh Dickinson will face Texas Southern in a first-four match between the No. 16 seeds on Wednesday, while Princeton will become the No. 15 seed against No. 2 Arizona on Thursday.

According to PointsBet, Northwestern has +3300 odds of getting out of the western region, and Illinois’ odds are +2200.

Editor’s note: All ratings are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our official sports betting partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking on our links.

NBC Chicago

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