Should Vols fans want Loyola to win it all?

Loyola Chicago, featuring an incredibly balanced offense and tremendous defense, made it through a region that featured Virginia, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Arizona, and Kentucky.

Carol Scheidenhelm, Ph.D., is the director of the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy at Loyola University Chicago and a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project.

An incredibly chaotic first four rounds of the NCAA Tournament has brought three of the best teams (No. 1 Villanova, No. 1 Kansas, No. 3 Michigan), and one of the best stories in years (No. 11 Loyola Chicago) to San Antonio, where a new national champion will cut down the nets.

The play Kansas State and if the Ramblers win Saturday, they head to the Final Four. Missouri Valley's a hard conference to win.

It's the final week of March Madness, and I'm here to officially attempt to convince you, the reader, to cheer for one of the underdogs.

Don't call Loyola upstarts any longer.

Her team was the number 11 seed.

"It's awesome when you believe", Loyola coach Porter Moser said. "It's awesome to see".

And there's the national championship the Ramblers won in 1963, in their first-ever trip. They will join 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago and its telegenic nun, along with No. 3 seed MI in the national semifinals on Saturday in San Antonio. Holly Goodman, 7, is among the few who predicted Loyola's tournament run.

"One thing she personifies is that, even though we're older, we're still interested in working with people and helping, fighting for injustice and education", one former student told NBC Chicago.

I won't judge the homeless guy getting the heave-ho because of today's sensibilities if you don't judge me by the nostalgia Loyola evokes. Richardson was only the latest to take his turn in the spotlight on a team which doesn't lean on one star. "Every Villanova team that I've been on has been like that", point guard Jalen Brunson said.

"The difference in seven years, what they had done to the Final Four and all of the trappings and the murals on the side of buildings of your players, everything had grown so much, I was shocked". "We need something to boost us and I think this is what is doing it". We're here to help you learn the names of the players that the Wolverines will face on the court. It was Saturday night. "And like we've been saying, it can be anybody's night". During the tournament, Loyola benefited from a far easier path than initially anticipated. (Though, to be fair, MI is a bigger-name program than Loyola, so, their guys were inherently recruited by at least one bigger name than the Loyola guys.) Still, no one on the court was a 5-star recruit and no one is a sure-thing for the National Basketball Association. The Ramblers are 32-5 for goodness sakes, and the country is seeing what a team that passes, moves and shoots at a high level can do in this era of college basketball parity. "They are really disciplined". I'm going to let them enjoy the ride, and when we're in film, when we're in practice, when we're in walk-throughs in the ball room, everything is going to be as normal, as focused and about what we do.

They've both lived out their own versions of miracles this tournament - Richardson with the pass for the game-winner over Miami, Custer with the flawless banked shot to defeat Tennessee.

  • Salvatore Jensen