Midwestern’s eighth seed stunned in the March mad arc of the first division men’s team basketball number one and Puerto Rico Andre Corbello Rodriguez and Tren Frazier.
Loyola University beat Illinois 71-58 Sunday in the second round of NCAA March Madness at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to advance to Sweet 16.
Illinois – who just beat Drexler and won the Big Ten convention championship – was one of the favorites to apply to the Final Four.
However, Loyola was stunned again as he did in 2018, when he reached the role of the top four as the No. 11 seed. At that time, he left Miami, Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas en route.
Midfielder Cameron Krottweig led Loyola twice with 19 points and 12 rebounds, plus five assists and three breaks.
Kreotwig’s contribution was a true reflection of the impressive basketball and mods the Rumblers used on the field.
Illinois tried to march in the first half, trailing in the 18th minute of the first half, when Krautweg Guerra beat Loyola 4-2.
However, Loyola laid out his plan to play perfectly on both sides of the field with crime seeking wide open spaces and forcing the big Illinois men to work on multiple actions. On the defensive level, the board area creates a minefield, with Triple Marks on Illi’s star center, Kofi Cockburn, and any space closed to surrounding players.
Illinois is down 13 points (30-17), leaving 3:15 left. He brought them a 7-3 lead closer to 33-24 at the end of the first half.
Nevertheless, Loyola continued his paint-area attack and choking defense that left Fighting Illini star goalkeeper Ayo Dosunmu with just nine points.
Cockburn led the Illinois attack with 21 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Adam Miller scored 10 points, while Corbello Rodriguez added nine points, five of them in the first half, with seven assists and four rebounds. Fraser only had two points.
This is Corbelo Rodriguez’s first year with Illinois, which ended up winning the sixth best man award.
Loyola – who has been supported in the stands by her loyal fan, Sister Jane – outperformed Illinois 12-5 in thefts.
Now the winner is waiting in Oregon St (No. 12) and Oklahoma Street (No. 4) for a regional semi-final match.