The Ramblers defeated the Fighting Illini 71-58 in the second round of the tournament and became the first team to move on to the Sweet 16.
All-American Ayo Dosunmu, of Illinois, scored just nine points, well below his 20.6 points per game average. Kofi Cockburn led all scorers with 21-points.
Loyola's Cameron Krutwig led all scorers with 19-points and added 12 rebounds. Chicago natives Lucas Williamson and Marquise Kennedy both added 14-points.
Illinois, the Big Ten tournament champions, was the first seed in the Midwest. The team defeated Drexel 78-49 in the first round.
Eight-seed Loyola took down Georgia Tech 71-60 in the first round of the tournament.
"I think it's great for Illinois basketball. I mean you got two ranked teams going at it. It's been a basketball-passionate state. I know the city of Chicago is, and I know Champaign is, and to see that, going for a ticket for the Sweet 16. I know there'll be a lot of eyes in basketball at the forefront, not only in the state, but in the country," said Porter Moser, Loyola head coach.
"It's very easy to get wrapped up in the storylines. I don't I have to look it at from a basketball perspective of, you know, next game. It's great for our state. I think it speaks volumes for their program and the job Porter's done. It can't be anything but great for the state," said Brad Underwood, Illinois head coach.