Fans cheer on Illinois at bars across Chicago

It's official! Illinois and Loyola will meet in the next round of the NCAA tournament.

Loyola beat Georgia Tech Friday 71 to 60.

Meanwhile, Illini fans were out in full force at bars and viewing parties throughout the Chicago area.

Illini fans cheered as the final buzzer sounded, even if the game was over in the first half.

"Pretty much no contest. The Illini dominated, as they expected to. Just proud of them, and they’re gonna move onto the next round, so keep it rolling," one fan said.

It’s especially sweet because Illinois has not exactly been an athletic powerhouse in recent years.

"I think we’re all really huge fans, yet we’ve had some really tough years, so when it works out, we can get really excited about it," said Bianca Catalano, an Illinois Alum.


But perhaps just as big a story as the game is that people were out socializing and cheering!

"It’s not just you sitting in your apartment or house watching the game on TV, but that you show up and there’s some camaraderie, other people who are going to cheer whenever we score," said Kurt Hansen of the Chicago Illini Club.

Indeed the bar was at limited capacity and tables were socially distanced.

But nothing could subdue the orange and blue who now go on to face that other team from Illinois: Loyola Chicago.