Illinois basketball sent March Madness brackets to the trash after getting upset by Loyola.
If you thought your bracket was busted after day 1 of March Madness, the Illinois Fighting Illini made sure to re-aggravate your levels of disappointment. Or, if you made it safely through the gauntlet of Day 1, euphoria quickly turned into disappointment.
Following their defeat to Sister Jean and the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, the 1-seed in the Midwest is headed back home, busting more brackets along the way.
It was a disappointing ending for a team that many thought could at least make a run to the Final Four and possibly win it all.
According to the brackets filled out on ESPN, Illinois was the third-most-popular pick to win it all, behind only Gonzaga and Baylor with more than 15 percent picking the Illini to cut down the nets.
Illinois didn’t do themselves any favors in losing, but it doesn’t matter now.
The Ramblers’ ability to persevere against Illini big man Kofi Cockburn was incredible despite Cockburn’s 21 points. Freshman Adam Miller only scored 10 points, and the bench chipped in 13 points altogether.
In contrast, Loyola took over the game from the start. Their style of play resembles the magical run of 2018 when the Ramblers made it to San Antonio and the Final Four before falling to Michigan. Senior Corey Krutwig, who played on that Final Four team, dropped 19 points on 50% shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. Additionally, senior Lucas Williamson, also a member of that magical run, scored 14 points on 63% shooting.
Loyola-Chicago sophomore Marquise Kennedy’s 14 points off the bench and the teams’ 22 total points outside of the starters were of great use to the Ramblers but not so good for the Illini and the many brackets that were busted after the game was over.
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