Loyola advances after knocking off top-seeded Illinois 71-58

Big Tournament

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn (21) is defended by Loyola Chicago center Cameron Krutwig, left, Keith Clemons (5) and Lucas Williamson (1) during the second half of a men’s college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

INDIANAPOLIS — The first No. 1 seed is out of the NCAA Tournament. Eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago stunned Illinois, the top seed in the Midwest, 71-58 on Sunday.

Center Cameron Krutwig had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Lucas Williamson chipped in 14 points as the Ramblers led throughout, much of it by double digits.

Illinois’ inside-out duo of center Kofi Cockburn and guard Ayo Dosunmu combined for 30 points, three assists and 11 rebounds, not enough to overcome the pesky Ramblers, who snared 12 steals.

Sister Jean Delores Schmidt gave an inspirational pregame prayer to her Loyola Chicago team before the two squads met.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt watches Loyola Chicago play Illinois during the first half of a men’s college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Sister Jean, the 101-year-old chaplain to the team, said, “As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win. 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.”

The Ramblers responded well.

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