Big Ten

The NCAA tournament bracket is out, with seven Big Ten teams in the field

The NCAA tournament bracket is out, with seven Big Ten teams in the field

WASHINGTON — Welcome to the Madness.

The NCAA tournament bracket was revealed on Selection Sunday, and the Big Ten has seven teams in the field of 68.

Most notable is the first-ever NCAA tournament appearance for Northwestern, but after a shaky-at-times regular season for the league, eye-catching runs in this week's Big Ten Tournament by Michigan and Wisconsin have suddenly made the conference's chances of competing for a national championship look a little bit better.

Big Ten regular-season champion Purdue earned the highest seed of any team in the conference. The Boilermakers are the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region.

Big Ten Tournament champion Michigan ended up as the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region, while runner-up Wisconsin is the No. 8 seed in the East Region.

The aforementioned Wildcats, who celebrated wildly at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, are the No. 8 seed in the West Region.

Three other teams made the field. Minnesota, which has flipped an 8-23 record from a season ago to a 24-9 mark heading into the Big Dance, is the No. 5 seed in the South Region. Maryland is the No. 6 seed in the West Region, and Michigan State is the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region.

Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, three Big Ten teams some prognosticators considered to be on the bubble heading into championship week, all missed the cut.

The specific team-by-team matchups for the septet of Big Ten squads are included below along with the full NCAA tournament bracket.

East Region

No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech, Thursday in Buffalo

Midwest Region

No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Vermont, Thursday in Milwaukee

No. 7 Michigan vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State, Friday in Indianapolis

No. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 8 Miami, Friday in Tulsa

South Region

No. 5 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Middle Tennessee, Thursday in Milwaukee

West Region

No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Xavier, Thursday in Orlando

No. 8 Northwestern vs. No. 9 Vanderbilt, Thursday in Salt Lake City

Northwestern Wildcats pause football workouts after positive COVID-19 test

USA Today

Northwestern Wildcats pause football workouts after positive COVID-19 test

The Northwestern Wildcats have stopped football workouts due to a player testing positive for COVID-19. A university spokesperson says, the school is now undergoing “rigorous contact tracing and quarantine protocols to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

Some student-athletes have already been placed in quarantine, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The earliest any football activities can resume for the Wildcats is Wednesday, according to the university spokesperson.

Michigan State required their entire football team to go into quarantine in late July after several positive tests among players and staff.

In addition, the Big Ten announced they will play a conference-only schedule in 2020, if they’re able to play at all.

RELATED: Northwestern football will not host Wisconsin Badgers at Wrigley Field

Lou Henson, former Illinois Fighting Illini basketball coach, dies at 88

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Lou Henson, former Illinois Fighting Illini basketball coach, dies at 88

Hall of Fame former Fighting Illini head basketball coach Lou Henson died last Saturday. He was 88 years old.

Henson was the all-time wins leader at the University of Illinois, guiding the team to a 423-224 record from 1975-1996. That included a 214-164 record in Big Ten Conference play, and one Big Ten conference title in 1984.

He also led the Illini to 12 NCAA tournament appearances, the highlight being a Final Four berth with the 1988-89 “Flying Illini.”

"Our Orange and Blue hearts are heavy," said Josh Whitman, Illinois Director of Athletics, in a statement. "We have lost an Illini icon. We have lost a role model, a friend, and a leader. We have lost our coach.

“Coach Henson may be gone, but the memories he provided us, and the legacy he created, will last forever. He was responsible for almost 800 wins in the record book and countless Fighting Illini moments frozen in time, but Coach Henson's true measure will be felt in the lives he touched – the lives of his former players, people on this campus, and friends in our broader community.

“We are all better for whatever time we were privileged to spend with Coach Lou, whether it was five minutes or 50 years. He made everyone feel like a friend. I so enjoyed my time with Coach these last five years, and I will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary, Lisa, Lori, Leigh Anne, and the entire Henson family. Their family will always be part of ours."

In addition to his iconic career at the University of Illinois, Henson coached at New Mexico State where he compiled another 289 victories, from 1966-1975 and 1997-2005. Henson is the wins leader at New Mexico State, as well.

His 779 career wins rank 28th all-time in NCAA history. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Hall of Fame in 2015. The same year, the newly renovated court at Illinois was renamed “Lou Henson Court.” The basketball court at New Mexico State is named “Lou Henson Court,” as well.

“He really was ahead of the game, in terms of bringing fan interaction and fan connection to a program,” said Stephen Bardo, one of Henson’s former players in a video on Twitter. “For me, Lou Henson’s voice got louder the longer after I left school. The more of an adult I became, the older my kids became, I would hear coach Henson’s voice more. I would impart the lessons I learned from him onto my children.

“He had an enormous impact on my life.”

RELATED: Big Ten to play conference-only NCAA football schedule 'if able'