• It was not a good weekend for the Big 14, and this Illinois fan is disheartened considerably after the putrid performance the Illini had on Sunday vs. the criminally underseeded Loyola Ramblers. I was more worried about a matchup with the Ramblers than I would have been against almost anybody else in the Midwest Region, because of the way they play and their experience in big games. I don’t care that they play in the Missouri Valley Conference, because Porter Moser knows how to coach, that senior-laden team does not make many mistakes, and Illinois usually struggles against a team that plays that style.

From almost the opening tip, you could tell it was going to be a long day for the Illini. The Loyola defense kept jumping screens and forced Ayo Dosunmu to do things he was not used to doing, and it also did a very good job (moreso in the first half) keeping the ball out of Kofi Cockburn’s hands. I would have NEVER expected the Illini to get outscored so badly on points in the paint, with Kofi on their side. Cameron Krutwig was a stud, and even I figured out their offense after a while, with him as a point forward type player running the offense near the top of the key. How many times did the Illini really stop that? Not nearly enough.

(Rest of story available in E-edition. Must be a subscriber to get both the E-Edition and print versions. Call 217-438-6155 to subscribe. We now accept credit cards over the phone).