Elite 8: Loyola basketball has fans on edge, remembering 1963 NCAA tournament

Ruben Hill
March 24, 2018

We already have the confidence. "He's been to a lot of our practices just to be there and see the hard work that we put in". "When we got into the tournament, it was like we didn't just want to be here".

Based exclusively on seeding, neither No. 9 Kansas State nor No. 11 Loyola-Chicago should have played but one game in the South Region of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

During the Ramblers' 69-68 win over Nevada Thursday, a fan held up a sign that read "Mission From God". "Most people never have their own bobblehead, but the fact that Sister Jean is about to get [another one] shows just how special she is".

Following a steal by Townes, Ben Richardson's layup gave the Ramblers their first double-digit lead at 36-26 and took their biggest lead at 40-28.

Sister Jean became a media sensation even before the tournament tipped off. And the results suggest that Loyola-Chicago is the team on the West/South half of the bracket that would garner the most interest from television viewers.

Loyola Chicago is this year's Cinderella story in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, with the No. 11 seed reaching the Elite 8.

"Clay made a great play, got downhill, kicked me to the corner", said Townes, "The guy came flying at me, so I just gave him a little shot fake, and I shot it, and it went in".

Kansas State and Loyola Chicago are both playing tremendous defense and both teams have been involved in low scoring games in this tournament.

They keep winning, 31 games this season and 13 straight since January 31. "She's always smiling. She has an energy about herself". Ramblers guard Marques Townes caught a half-court inbounds pass, but he appeared to travel immediately after he caught the ball and prior to being fouled by Nevada's Jordan Caroline.

"When he was a freshman, I said, who's going to be our defensive stopper, and he's very stubborn", said Weber of Brown.

Clayton Custer, another player, told the Des Moines Register he appreciates Sister Jean's team prayers.

"I'm so grateful to Loyola for inviting me to be their chaplain", she said with a smile. She also admitted to praying for the opposing team, but "not as hard". "And that is that Sister Jean is an absolute treasure". Since I've been at school, she's kind of been like a second grandma for me. Loyola and Kansas State are a pick'em in this game.

"Sister Jean wakes before dawn. and immediately spends time in her daily prayer and meditation". She routinely, and nearly ironically this week, asks God for a peaceful day.

Following this win, Twitter featured Sister Jean in a Twitter moment, and she received shout outs from high profile accounts including ESPN and former President Barack Obama.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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