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Why Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu is wearing a mask in the NCAA Tournament

Sam Lane, USA TODAY
·1 min read
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If you haven't followed the Illinois men's basketball closely this year you might be asking yourself "Why is Ayo Dosunmu wearing a mask?" when the No. 1-seeded Illini face No. 16 seed Drexel on Friday at 1:15 ET in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Illinois star suffered a broken nose on Feb. 23 in an 81-72 loss to Michigan State. The injury caused him to go into concussion protocol and miss the Illini's next three games.

He returned 11 days later for the season finale vs. Ohio State donning a protective black mask which was quickly embraced by the Illini community.

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To no one's surprise the Batman comparisons came soon after including from Dosunmu's dad, Quam Dosunmu.

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Dosunmu average 19 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists since his return – leading the Illini to a Big Ten title along the way.

Following the cutting of the nets, Dosunmu paid tribute to his all-time favorite player, Kobe Bryant, to celebrate.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Why Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu is wearing a mask in NCAA Tournament