Loyola-Chicago toppled No. 1 seed Illinois to reach the Sweet 16.


Top-seed Illinois is out. The No. 8 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers — and, in fact, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt — are in the Sweet 16 after steering previous the Fighting Illini, 71-58, on Sunday.

Illinois turned the first No. 1 seed to be ousted on this yr’s N.C.A.A. males’s event, faltering from the begin of the second spherical in Indianapolis and solely sporadically wanting any higher. It was the earliest exit for a area’s prime seed since 2018.

And Loyola-Chicago, which reached the Final Four in that 2018 tournament and remodeled the staff chaplain, identified merely as Sister Jean, right into a joyful image of faculty basketball fealty, prolonged its file of pulverizing the postseason ambitions of ostensibly mightier faculties.

On Friday, it defeated Georgia Tech, which had received the Atlantic Coast Conference event. On Sunday, it was Illinois, the winner of the Big Ten event and a favourite in brackets from coast to coast, that collapsed.

The Ramblers, who by no means trailed on Saturday, capitalized on steals and turnovers. They mounted massive runs as a masked Sister Jean, now 101, watched, her eyes so steadily fastened with approval. Most of their scoring got here in the paint, and three gamers — Marquise Kennedy, Cameron Krutwig and Lucas Williamson — every had a minimum of 13 factors on the day.

In the spherical of 16, which is able to start subsequent weekend, Loyola will play the winner of Sunday evening’s sport between No. 4 Oklahoma State and No. 12 Oregon State.



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