College basketball is back, and the region's teams kicked off their respective seasons in fine fashion over the weekend.
Illinois took care of Loyola Chicago 67-49 on Friday night, though they did receive a minor scare in the process. Loyola Chicago used an 11-2 run to pull within four points with a little under 12 minutes remaining in the game, but the Illini responded and pushed the lead to double digits a few minutes later. Meyers Leonard led the Illini with 15 points on 7-10 shooting.
Northwestern's game against Texas-Pan American wasn't the prettiest affair, as neither team shot especially well, but the bottom line was a comfortable 60-36 win for the Wildcats. John Shurna led the way with 15 points.
Notre Dame struggled at times with visiting Mississippi Valley State but ultimately pulled away for an 80-67 win. Like Illinois, the Irish had a game on their hands well into the second half. Eric Atkins led the Irish with 27 points.
DePaul began its season Friday against the same Texas-Pan American team that would face Northwestern. Led by Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young, the Blue Demons won 91-72.
For more updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. Be sure to check out Hail to the Orange, Sippin' On Purple and One Foot Down, which are SB Nation's Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame blogs, respectively. For more from around college basketball, visit SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.