Loyola Chicago stuns No. 1 seed Illinois in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament

Loyola Chicago stuns No. 1 seed Illinois in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament

March 21, 2021

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Cameron Krutwig finished with a team-high 19 points to go along with 12 rebounds, five assists, and three steals for eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago in their incredible 71-58 upset victory over top-seed Illinois in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday.

Lucas Williamson added 14 points, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks, and Marquise Kennedy contributed 14 points, three rebounds, and two blocks for the Ramblers.

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The Ramblers will square off against either Oklahoma State or Oregon State next.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Loyola Chicago is now 15-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, tying Duke for the best winning percentage (.750) in tournament history.

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Before the game, 101-year-old Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the team chaplain, delivered a pregame prayer and it seemed to inspire the Ramblers heading into their matchup with the No. 1 seed of their region.

She made her presence felt back in 2018 when the Ramblers rolled to the Final Four.

“As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win,” she said. “We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50% of layups and 30% of its 3 points. Our defense can take care of that.”

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Illinois, on the other hand, earned the top seed for the first time since its own Final Four run in 2005. The Illini committed 16 turnovers and scored 23 points fewer than their season average.

Second-team All-American Kofi Cockburn finished with a game-high 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting for Illinois.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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