Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Articles tagged: NCAA Tournament 2021

Was Loyola Chicago’s upset over Illinois the product of massive seeding error?

Porter Moser

Judging by the seedings, Loyola Chicago’s win over Illinois in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday was a big upset. The Ramblers were the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region and defeated the No. 1 Illinis 71-58. But those who followed the college basketball season closely probably were not as surprised by the outcome as many others.

Why is that? There is a belief that Loyola Chicago was massively underseeded.

Loyola Chicago entered the NCAA Tournament 24-4. They were the No. 9 team overall in Ken Pom’s rankings. That implied they were more worthy of a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they were seeded eighth, as if they were around the 30th-best team in the country.

The metrics suggested that Loyola Chicago and Illinois were nearly evenly matched despite the vast disparity in their seedings. The game between them probably should not have taken place until the Sweet 16, or even the Elite Eight. But it took place in the second round and looks like a much bigger upset than it really was.

As they showed us in 2018, Loyola Chicago is legit. You can thank “Officer Farva” for that. And Illinois had a very good team get bounced early on as a result.

Gonzaga saw impressive streak end during win over Norfolk State

Gonzaga Bulldogs logo

Gonzaga has been such a dominant team this season that they’re making quick work of all their opponents. They are like a top tennis player double-bageling their opponents in straight sets and walking off the court after the work is done.

The Bulldogs entered the NCAA Tournament 26-0 and the favorites to win it all. They also had won 22 straight games in under two hours. But that impressive streak came to an end on Saturday.

Gonzaga beat Norfolk State easily 98-55. However, Ken Pomeroy noted that the game took two hours, snapping the streak.

Even if the streak was broken, that doesn’t mean Gonzaga didn’t impress. They put on a show as usual and are now 27-0. They’re going to be hard to beat when they’re making over 50 percent of their threes as they did in their opening round game.

Sister Jean owned Charles Barkley with this prediction

Charles Barkley

Sister Jean was one of few people who predicted that Loyola Chicago would defeat No. 1 seed Illinois on Sunday, and Charles Barkley thought she was crazy. The Hall of Famer quickly learned that he should respect his elders.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Sister Jean told Andy Katz that she has Loyola in the Elite 8 in her bracket. Barkley was informed of that on live television and he mocked the prediction.

“If you can get Sister Jean on the phone, I want that bet,” Barkley said. “Listen, we all love Sister Jean, but they’re not gonna beat the Illini.”

Not only did Loyola beat the Illini, they won convincingly. The Ramblers controlled the game from the opening tip and looked like the better team for 40 minutes en route to a 71-58 win.

Sister Jean may be Loyola’s 101-year-old team chaplain, but she knows her basketball. Her pregame prayer on Sunday included an awesome scouting report, and her keys to the game proved to be incredibly accurate.

If you remember, Sister Jean took a hilarious shot at Barkley during Loyola’s Final Four run three years ago. She pretty much owns Chuck.

Cameron Krutwig gets hilarious ‘Farva’ memes after Loyola’s upset win

Cameron Krutwig

Cameron Krutwig has emerged as one of the early stars of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, and many people have pointed out that the Loyola center bears a striking resemblance to one of the most beloved comedy movie characters of all time.

Krutwig led the way for Loyola with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists their upset win over No. 1 seed Illinois on Sunday. As Krutwig was dominating the Illini, fans on social media compared him to Rod Farva from “Super Troopers.”

That is pretty spot on.

Krutwig was one of the reasons Loyola made a deep run in the NCAA Tournament three years ago. He’s now a senior and one of the best players in the country, which is why we predicted he could be one of the breakout stars of the tourney.

Between Sister Jean’s incredible scouting report, the dancing we saw from Loyola fans (video here), and Krutwig being Farva’s twin, it’s easy to see why Loyola is once again stealing the show in March.

Video: Loyola fans celebrated with dynamite dance moves

Loyola Chicago pulled off a huge upset over No. 1 seed Illinois in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, and their fans celebrated with style.

As Loyola closed out their 71-58 win over the Illini, a group of Ramblers fans were shown on TV busting out some incredible coordinated dance moves. We can’t remember ever seeing more swag in a tourney game. Check it out:

Loyola may be best known for Sister Jean, who gave an incredible scouting report during her pregame prayer on Sunday. Those dancing Ramblers fans deserve some shine, too.

The performance was a dominant one for Loyola. The Sweet 16 trip is their second in three years, as they also made an improbable run to the Final Four back in 2018.

Sister Jean had awesome scouting report during Loyola pregame prayer

Sister Jean

Sister Jean is a beloved member of the Loyola basketball program as the team’s official chaplain, and the 101-year-old reminded fans on Sunday that her basketball IQ is also off the charts.

As always, Sister Jean led the Ramblers in a prayer before tip-off. The prayer included some of what you’d expect, but Sister Jean also delivered a full-blown scouting report on Loyola’s opponent, Illinois.

Sister Jean cited some offensive efficiency stats for the Illini and said Loyola needed to score early to put the pressure on. The Ramblers did exactly that, as they came out on fire and took a 33-24 lead into the half.

There was some question about whether Sister Jean would be able to attend the NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19 protocols, but the NCAA cleared her last week.

Sister Jean became an overnight celebrity when Loyola reached the Final Four in 2018. She is somewhat of a cult hero for college basketball fans, and we saw just how popular she was when Loyola sold Sister Jean bobbleheads. She clearly knows her basketball and studies Loyola’s opponents, too.

Look: Abilene Christian throws ‘Horns Down’ after upset win

ACU Horns Down

Abilene Christian pulled off a huge upset win over Texas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, and one of their players couldn’t resist trolling the Longhorns.

Wildcats bench player Paul Hiepler ran straight for the TV cameras while doing the “Horns Down” gesture after ACU won 53-52.

Want to guess how many minutes Hiepler played in the game and how many points he scored? Yes, the same as you and me. But he does have a lot of school pride.

Imagine being Texas, the pride of the state, the well-funded program, and losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Abilene Christian. And as if that weren’t enough, you have some bench scrub throwing the Horns Down at the end of the loss just to rub it in. That has to hurt.

Good thing this isn’t the Big 12, otherwise there would be a penalty flag for Hiepler’s gesture.

Here is how many COVID cases VCU had that led to cancelation

VCU basketball

Imagine playing a whole season only to reach the NCAA Tournament and have it end due to COVID without even playing a game. That’s what happened to VCU.

The NCAA announced on Saturday that the scheduled first-round game between Oregon and VCU was declared a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. Oregon will advance to the second round.

The NCAA said that they could not disclose more information due to privacy rules.

According to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, VCU is dealing with three positive cases on the team. They had their first positive test on Wednesday, and then two more on Friday.

Marion County health officials determined it was too risky to let the game be played.

JJ Watt trolled wife Kealia over Wisconsin-North Carolina game

JJ Watt

For most people, Friday’s NCAA Tournament first round game between Wisconsin and North Carolina was a matchup between two fairly nondescript power conference teams whose seasons were neither great nor terrible. For J.J. Watt and his wife Kealia Ohai, it was anything but.

Watt starred for the Badgers during his college days, while Ohai was a standout soccer player for the Tar Heels. In other words, this was a grudge match between the couple’s respective schools, and judging by Twitter, both took it immensely seriously.

Watt ultimately got the last laugh, as his Badgers blew out the Tar Heels 85-62. That led to a bit more Twitter sniping, with Watt getting the last laugh.

This was a game North Carolina will be eager to forget for a whole host of reasons. Ohai won’t have that luxury if Watt is fully committed to trolling her over the outcome, though.

EJ Liddell reveals threatening messages he received following Ohio State upset

EJ Liddell

Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell exposed threatening messages he had received on social media following the Buckeyes’ upset loss to Oral Roberts on Friday.

Liddell had missed the front end of a one-and-one with Ohio State nursing a 64-62 lead with 37 seconds to go in regulation. Had Liddell converted both ends, the Buckeyes would have held a four-point lead with just over 30 seconds left. Instead, the Golden Eagles took advantage of the opening and made a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession. That sent the game to overtime, where Oral Roberts ultimately pulled off the upset.

Early Saturday morning, Liddell shared uncensored messages sent to him on social media. Beyond being offensive and profane, both messages contain threatening content, with one telling Liddell “I hope you die.” In response, Liddell posted the caption “Honestly, what did I do to deserve this? I’m human.”

ESPN’s Myron Medcalf reported Saturday that Ohio State had reached out to police regarding the threatening messages. In a Twitter post, Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith had warned that such “appalling” messages would be reported to the authorities.

Unfortunately, athletes at all levels who make key mistakes get this treatment. It’s good that the Buckeyes are being proactive about trying to put a stop to it.