Loyola-Chicago and his 101-year-old team chaplain are headed for Sweet 16 -58 after the stunning Illinois 71, which had been a trendy choice to make the title game, if not the entire NCAA- Men’s tournament is another notable feat for the mid-major, who reached the Final Four as an 11-seed three years ago and could be some sort of omen when the Ramblers won the school’s only national title in 1963, beating them in Illinois too NCAA tournament

For Illinois and the Big Ten, this is another shocking loss The Big Ten sent nine teams to the tournament, including No. 1 seed Illinois and Michigan, and is only five left before the first weekend is over

Loyola was the favorite of the 2018 tournament, an old-school team built on defense and solid foundations, with a then 99-year-old nun as the ‘mascot’. Team left are Cameron Krutwig and Lucas Williamson, this team has many of the same traits. And Sister Jean still has all the favors she can
Fully vaccinated, she bothered Loyola and NCAA officials to come to Indianapolis until they finally gave in (promising not to rush the court) In her prayer game the Sunday before the game, she asked “for special help to overcome this team and get a great win we hope to score early and make our opponents nervous ”

The Ramblers clearly got the message, started quickly, and buried Illinois in a hole just too deep to ever climb out of Kofi Cockburn managed to cut Illinois’s deficit in half to single digits, a three-point Convert game and score 33-24 on a thunderous dunk, and Illinois was within 42-36 left to play after an Ayo Dosunmu 3 13:12. But the gap was too big and Loyola is just too disciplined to be closer to Illinois could come

The deck is naturally stacked against mid-majors in the NCAA tournament – most teams have to win their conference tournaments to get a bid, and then they face Power 5 schools – but Loyola found Draw it Particularly Bad The Walkers have now won eight in a row and 19 of their last 20 and are as solid a team as you can find Yes, their No 8 seed is three better than on their Final Four run, but in some ways this way was more difficult

Loyola pulled Georgia Tech in the opening round and then had to face Illinois. Even Sister Jean grumbled about it and said, “Nobody thinks it’s a fair bracket”

Loyola isn’t flashy – remember, the star of this group is a centenary nun – but it doesn’t have to be. It’s playing lockdown defense – Illinois ’24 points in the first half were a season low – and is working its offensive all the way to Perfection


World News – USA – No. 8 Loyola-Chicago Stuns No. 1 Illinois, 71-58, advances to Sweet 16

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2021/03/21/march-madness-loyola-chicago-no-1-seed-illinois/4791213001/