A popular national title pick has been eliminated.
Illinois, the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, has fallen in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The Illini, coming off one of the best regular seasons in program history – and a Big Ten Tournament championship – were eliminated by Loyola-Chicago.
Loyola-Chicago, which made a Cinderella run to the Final Four a couple of years back, knocked off Illinois in the second round on Sunday afternoon.
Of course, Sister Jean saw this coming. She predicted her school to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament – but not the Final Four – in her bracket.
“I picked them to the #Elite8 – that’s to encourage my young men.” ❤️#SisterJean is predicting another big run by @RamblersMBB, but she has @ZagMBB winning it all! 👀 #MarchMadness @TheAndyKatz pic.twitter.com/QG6tkTSTg3
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 17, 2021
The college basketball world thinks Illinois got an unfair draw as a No. 1 seed, though. Loyola-Chicago is a top 10 team in Kenpom and should’ve been seeded much higher, according to many college basketball analysts.
“In what universe did the NCAA Committee decide with a straight face this Loyola team was a No. 8 seed? Unfair to them and Illinois,” Pete Thamel wrote.
“ACU was a true upset. Shot like 30% and, all credit to them, managed to win. This would be an upset by seed and spread, but Loyola has just played better from the jump. Shooting 52%, more rebounds, more assists. Will take something remarkable from Illinois to beat them now,” Scott Van Pelt wrote.
“Long way to go, and Illinois can obviously still prevail, but Loyola Chicago looks like a 3 seed. Committee forever fails to accurately seed “mid majors.” Consider how bad Texas looked. That was a 3 but this is an 8?” Dan Wetzel added.
Fair or not, Loyola-Chicago is off to the Sweet 16, while No. 1 seed Illinois is going home before the end of the first weekend.