B10 Illinois Maryland Basketball

Illinois guard Jada Peebles (11) defends against Maryland guard Diamond Miller during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten women’s tournament Friday, March 3, 2023, in Minneapolis.

For the first time in 20 years, the Illinois women’s basketball team is dancing.

In their first season under coach Shauna Green, the Illini on Sunday received their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2003 and the ninth in program history.

Illinois was seeded 11th in the Greenville 1 Region and will take on fellow No. 11 seed Mississippi State in a First Four game Wednesday in South Bend, Ind.

The winner will meet sixth-seeded Creighton on Friday in South Bend.

The Illini are 22-8 and finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten at 11-7. It’s quite the turnaround from a 7-20 record (1-13 Big Ten) in Nancy Fahey’s final season in Champaign. Green was hired last March from Dayton, where she guided the Flyers to four NCAA Tournaments and two Women’s NITs in six seasons.

Notre Dame is no stranger to the NCAA Tournament, and the Irish were seeded third in the Greenville 1 Region. They will host first- and second-round games Friday and Sunday in South Bend and will open against No. 14 seed Southern Utah.

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