INDIANAPOLIS — The dream is over for the Illinois men’s basketball team. A stifling, switching defense from Loyola-Chicago forced 17 Illinois turnovers, including 12 steals. Loyola guards double and triple-teamed Illini center Kofi Cockburn in the paint, and swarmed All-American guard Ayo Dosunmu at the point.
Dosununmu was held to just nine points on 4-10 shooting from the floor. He turned the ball over six times.
It was worse for Trent Frazier, who converted just 1-10 field goal attempts for 2 points. Dosunmu’s season average was 20.6 points entering the game, and Frazier averaged ten.
Cameron Krutwig, the freshman star of Loyola’s 2018 Final Four team, is now a senior. He led the Ramblers with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Lucas Williamson and Marquise Kennedy added 14 points apiece for Loyola.
Cockburn led all scorers with 21 points. He also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Andre Curbelo added 9 points and 7 assists for the Illini. Adam Miller scored ten.
Illinois finishes the season with a 24-7 record.
Loyola advances to the Sweet 16, where they will face the winner of Sunday night’s game between No. 4 seed Oklahoma State and No. 12 seed Oregon State.
Rob McColley covers University of Illinois sports for WILL.