The first session of SB Nation's 2012 Bracketology has been released and the Chicago area teams have a strong presence. The Illinois Fighting Illini, Northwestern Wildcats, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish all make Chris Dobbertean's first session of Bracketology. Dobbertean notes that Notre Dame's addition to the Big East in basketball will boost the conference's total number of teams, but may not match last season's number.
While the Big East may not repeat its 11-bid total of 2011, it has nine right now, thanks to the late addition of Notre Dame to the First Four, after the Fighting Irish won at Louisville Saturday. With eight teams, the Big Ten has a higher percentage of its teams in this field than any other conference, though Northwestern is hanging on by a thread after its home loss to Illinois on Wednesday.
In the current edition, Illinois comes in as a No. 7 seed in the South region. Notre Dame comes in as a No. 12 seed in the "First Four" bracket while Northwestern comes in at a No. 12 seed in the West region.
For more on Illinois basketball, visit SB Nation's Illinois blog Hail To The Orange. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin On Purple. For more on Notre Dame basketball, visit SB Nation's Notre Dame blog One Foot Down. For more on DePaul basketball stick to SB Nation Chicago.