INDIANAPOLIS — Kofi Cockburn muscled his way to 18 points and Illinois cruised past 16th-seeded Drexel 78-49 in the Illini’s first NCAA Tournament game as a No. 1 seed in 16 years.
Illinois will face eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago or ninth-seeded Georgia Tech in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Sunday.
Drexel never really had chance at containing the 7-foot, 285-pound Cockburn, who was 8 for 11 from the field for the Big Ten champions.
James Butler drew the daunting task of trying to handle Cockburn, without much success. The senior did have 10 points and 10 rebounds for Drexel.