Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Twitter Explodes After Illinois Loses To Loyola


March is truly the most insane time of year in the sports world because we get the NCAA Tournament, also known to many as March Madness. What makes it so unique as compared to other playoff events, is the incredible amount of unpredictability the tournament has. Anyone can win on any given day, and they do in this tournament.

A 15-seed Oral Roberts Golden Eagles mens basketball team, who most people didnt even know exsisted before the 2021 tourney started, has managed to beat two of the most prominent schools in the country in the Ohio State Buckeyes and Florida Gators. Another well-known school, the University of Illinois, had a 1-seed in this years tournament and looked like a prime candidate all year to challenge for a National Championship. Then came Loyola-Chicago, a small school in the same state who decided they wanted to prove they can play with big brother.

To many in the state, the Illinois loss came as a massive shock. This was the best team the state had had in the dance since 2005, and played great basketball all year long. PG Ayo Donsumu was a unanimous First-Team All-American, hitting clutch shots against formidable foes which earned him the nickname “The Closer.” Big-Man Kofi Cockburn was a Second-Team All-American and a dominant force in the paint, bullying the National Player of the Year Luka Garza in their matchups which put people on notice. 6th-Man of the Year and freshman Andre Curbelo wowed viewers throughout the year with his incredible court-vision and passing prowess, leading many to call him “The Wizard.” Then it all came to an end, as the Fighting Illini fell flat against Loyola in what was truly one of the most well-coached games from an underdog we have ever seen.

Loyola head coach Porter Moser showed just how important a great coach is in this game, because while he didn’t have the high-level talent that the Illini had, he outsmarted and outcoached them with a perfect gameplan that his players ran to perfection. Some blame could be put on Illinois head coach Brad Underwood for seemingly never making adjustments to what Loyola was clearly doing, but props should be given to the Ramblers and their coach here. I often consider him to be like Brad Stevens, and excellent basketball mind who now coaches for the Boston Celtics after coaching the lower-level Butler Bulldogs to NCAA prominence in the early 2010’s. Moser will be in the NBA sooner rather than later after his brilliant 2018 run and now this one in 2021 with a small-level program that has no business being there without his guidence.

As you can probably imagine, most people had a team as talented as Illinois going all the way to the National Championship, where they had the elite-level athletes to compete with anyone. Their loss shook not only the state of Illinois, but every one around the country who placed a bet on them to win it all or had them in their March Madness bracket, which was A LOT of people. Illinois had the second most bets placed on them behind Gonzaga to win the title, so the rich got MUCH richer when they came out flat. The tweets were hilarious, if not also depressing, and we are here for all of it. Here are some of the best ones I saw searching the internet. Enjoy.

The Best Tweets From Illinois Shocking Loss

Former President Obama’s Bracket…

Cam Krutwig: Next Great Euro-League Star?

Me As An Illini Fan

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