Loyola University Chicago and University of Illinois met for the first time in the NCAA tournament since 1963.
JESSE KIRSCH: Good morning, Mark. Not just what those teams are saying, but what people in our newsroom are saying. There was even debate over where we should be going live from this morning.
So we picked a neutral site. We're in downtown Chicago in River North because we figure this way we didn't make the Rambler fans or the Fighting Illini fans feel jealous one way or the other. These two teams will tip off later this morning.
Illinois, of course, the Big Ten Tournament champions and 1 seed in the Midwest bracket. The Fighting Illini bounced Drexel 78 to 49 in the first round. Meanwhile, 8-seeded Loyola took down Georgia Tech 71 to 60. And now the Ramblers face U of I, two hometown teams for Chicago and the Land of Lincoln at large.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: It's very easy to get wrapped up in the storylines. I don't. I have to look at it from the basketball perspective of, you know, next game. It's great for our state. I think it speaks volumes to their program and the job Porter's done. It can't be anything but great for the state.
KEITH CLEMONS: It's been a lot of excitement. The guys, including myself, we're-- we're all ready for it. Even-- I had trouble sleeping last night just because I'm so amped up and so-- much like the other guys. We are ready for it. It's going to be a good game. We just got to--
JESSE KIRSCH: 11:10 tip off, big game. And I'm curious to know, Stacey and Mark-- Mark, did you have trouble sleeping last night? Because I know you're going to be watching this one closely.
- You know what, Jesse? I slept like a baby. I slept like a baby because you know what? I know what's going to happen.
I know-- I know they're going to win. It's all good I'm a little biased when it comes to Illinois.
JESSE KIRSCH: Confident. I appreciate it.
- Thank you very much. Thanks. We appreciate it, Jesse.