Northwestern to play in first NCAA tournament since 2017, Illinois to face Arkansas

Northwestern will play in its first NCAA Tournament since 2017.

The Wildcats are the No. 7 seed in the West and will play No. 10 seed Boise State in Sacramento on Thursday.

This is just the second time they have played in the tournament in the school's history.


Illinois is the No. 9 seed in the West and will play Arkansas on Thursday.

Action begins Tuesday with two First Four games. The full madness starts Thursday with the first round, with 16 games and 16 more the next day. 

The top overall seed, Alabama, has been on a roll despite the program being entangled in a developing murder case. Another No. 1 seed, defending national champion Kansas, has a coach coming out of the hospital and a team coming off a blowout loss. Yet another, Houston, just watched its best player go down in a heap with a scary injury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.