The 10th-seeded Buffs (21-11) face No. 7 Illinois in the East Region on Friday in Austin, Texas. Here's a look at the Illini from the Big Ten:
Record: 22-12 overall, 8-10 in conference (tied for seventh).
Coach: John Groce, first season at Illinois (85-56 in four seasons at Ohio).
Big wins: Butler (78-61 at the Maui Invitational), Gonzaga (85-74 in Spokane), Ohio State (74-55 in Champaign), Indiana (74-72 in Champaign).
Bad losses: At Purdue (68-61), Northwestern (68-54 in Champaign).
Key player: Brandon Paul. The 6-4 senior guard averages 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists.
Last NCAA appearance: Defeated UNLV 73-62, lost to Kansas 73-59 in 2011. This is the 30th trip to the Big Dance for Illinois (39-30 all-time).
Series: Illinois leads 3-1. The two programs last played in 1987 with the Illini winning 69-65 on Jan. 31 in Champaign and 86-68 on Dec. 30 in the return game, which was played in Denver as part of a doubleheader in the Mile High Classic at McNichols Sports Arena.
-- Ryan Thorburn