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|Illini Accept NIT Bid; Stoney Brook Up Next
|CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois has been left out of the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons. But they do get a trip to the NIT as a top seed.
Illinois can't play their first game at home, however. Assembly Hall in Champaign is booked Wednesday night for a performance by Cirque du Soleil. The Illini will open the NIT at America East Conference regular season champion Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y.
Coach Bruce Weber says it's been a tough day.
The Illini (19-14) opened the season in the Top 25. But they closed the regular season with five losses in six games.
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