This story was originally posted March 21. It was accidentally removed during a website update and has been restored.
After a bracket-busting win against No. 1-seeded University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign March 21, hundreds of Loyola fans took to the streets near the Lakeshore Campus to celebrate the victory.
Largely centered near Loyola’s Fordham Hall (6455 N. Sheridan Road), throngs of maroon and gold-clad students flooded North Sheridan Road shortly after the win.
Most students — many not taking proper COVID precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks — then moved to the side of the street and sidewalk when police arrived but continued dancing, cheering and blasting music from the sidewalk as cars honked. At times, what appeared to be champagne streamed in the air above the crowd.
The celebration lasted for about an hour and a half as the space outside the residence hall was cleared by about 3:10 p.m., according to Phoenix reporters on the scene.
Kathryne Piazza, 22, watched part of the celebration from the sidelines. The senior statistics major said she was also at Loyola when the team made its 2018 Final Four run. She said while she wasn’t really thinking about the possibility of another tournament run because of COVID-19, she was hoping the team would make it.
“It’s great that it happened, it was really exciting to watch the whole time, I mean, I was glued to the TV,” Piazza said.
The game turned the heads of many who eyed Illinois, the Big Ten Tournament champion, as the match-up’s likely winner. The 71-58 win earlier that day saw Loyola senior center and Associated Press (AP) Third Team All-America player Cameron Krutwig notch a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Loyola senior guard Lucas Williamson and sophomore guard Marquise Kennedy scored in double figures with 14 points each.
Loyola shot 51.0 percent overall and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Kelsey Sherry, another senior and neuroscience major on the fringes of the post-game celebration, told reporters it was great to see the Loyola community come together.
“It’s really exciting to see campus spirit after a whole year of being on lockdown and feeling like you weren’t part of a school so this is so, so cool to see other people who are having the same feelings and emotions and campus pride as you,” the 21-year-old said.
Luke Baumel, a first-year neuroscience and psychology major standing away from the crowd, told reporters “it’s a great day to be a Rambler.”
“It was a great game, this is the most excited I’ve seen students this year,” Baumel said.
Police officers — both Campus Safety, the university’s sworn campus police force, and the Chicago Police Department — stood in the street near the swarm of students blocking a lane of traffic, videos and photos from the scene show.