Eighth-seeded Loyola sent No. 1-seeded Illinois packing in a 71-58 defensive stunner en route to the Ramblers’ second Sweet Sixteen appearance in three years.
Loyola students stormed onto Sheridan Road along their Rogers Park campus after the final buzzer sounded.
Illinois is the first No. 1 seed to be ousted from the tournament.
Earlier in the day, fan-favorite Sister Jean delivered her pregame prayer, which called for the Ramblers to hold Illinois to 30% from three-point range. They executed to perfection, holding the Illini to 28.6% from behind the arc.
Illinois earned the No. 1 seed for the first time since its Final Four run in 2005. CBS’ studio panel expected the Illini to come back in the second half after falling behind by double digits in the first. Ultimately, Loyola’s defense proved too stifling for USA Today Player of the Year Ayo Dosunmu, who was held to nine points.
Not many predicted this win for the Ramblers, but Sister Jean had them locked to reach the Elite Eight.
Fans reacted on Twitter with emotions ranging from true joy to stunned heartbreak.
Here are some of the best: