Loyola Chicago’s special run in the NCAA Tournament has reached another level.

The Ramblers used a combination of suffocating defense, and fundamental passing on offense to give Illinois fits, and prevail 71-58 to move on to the Sweet 16. They locked down Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn, who had just 7 points and 4 rebounds by halftime, and their own big man, Cameron Krutwig, who looked as if he was in a YMCA rec league, smoothly worked around the paint. Krutwig had a team-high 19 points, and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Cockburn bounced back in the second half to finish with 21 points.

Loyola led by as many as 14 — and never trailed — in a game where many college basketball fans and media questioned why the NCAA Tournament committee would seed the Ramblers as low as it did. The Illini had led in every game this season until Sunday’s game.

The defense, for starters, is one reason why the Ramblers are a strong team. Loyola of Chicago entering the game held opposing teams to 55.7 points per game this season, the lowest figure among all Division I teams.

Sister Jean, the beloved 101-year-old team chaplain, even got in on the broadcast as CBS shared her pre-game prayer, which many fans described as a scouting report against Illinois as much as a prayer.