Northwestern seeded No. 7, Illinois No. 9 in NCAA West Region bracket

Northwestern and Illinois both will be in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament bracket this year.

Northwestern is seeded No. 7 in the West, slated to play Boise St. on at 6:35 p.m. Thursday on TruTV. Illinois is seeded No. 9, slated to play Arkansas at 3:30 p.m. Thursday on TBS.

Kansas is the No. 1 seed will have coach Bill Self back on the sideline.

Northwestern and Illinois are part of the big Big Ten showing in the tournament, with Purdue landing a No. 1 seed in the East Region and Iowa No. 8 in the Midwest Region.

Northwestern had a 21-11 record in a surprising season. It was ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten tournament but lost in the quarterfinal round to Penn St. in overtime. Purdue won the Big Ten tournament on Sunday.

Illinois had a 20-12 record for the season. It also lost to Penn St. in the Big Ten tournament.

Self missed the Big 12 Tournament after undergoing a heart procedure, but the school announced Sunday he will return to lead the third-ranked Jayhawks against Howard in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday.

Kansas (27-7) won its first two games at the Big 12 Tournament without Self before losing 76-56 to No. 7 Texas in the title game.

The Jayhawks appeared as though they would slip to a No. 2 seed when top-ranked Houston got the top spot in the Midwest, but the NCAA selection committee still made them the No. 1 in a West Region that ends in Las Vegas on March 23-25.

Kansas faces a difficult road in its bid to become college basketball's first repeat champion since Florida in 2006-07.

The stacked West Region includes No. 2 UCLA, No. 9 Gonzaga, No. 11 UConn, No. 16 Saint Mary's and No. 22 TCU.

Get by Howard, which is in its first NCAA Tournament since 1992, and the Jayhawks will get a stiff test in the second round against Arkansas or Illinois.

Illinois' Dain Dainja (42) works the ball against Northwestern's Matthew Nicholson (34) Feb. 23 in Champaign, Ill. Associated press
Kansas forward Jalen Wilson celebrates after making a basket during the first half of the NCAA college basketball championship game against Texas in the Big 12 Conference tournament Saturday, March 11, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. Associated press
UCLA coach Mick Cronin shouts during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Arizona for the championship of the men's Pac-12 Tournament, Saturday, March 11, 2023, in Las Vegas. Associated press
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