CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’ve been watching the Loyola Ramblers in the NCAA Tournament, you might have noticed many fans wearing maroon and gold striped scarves that bear a striking resemblance to pop culture’s most famous young wizards.
The store on campus has been sold out of the iconic Loyola scarves for decades.
Despite outward appearances, the team scarves officially have no connection to the ones worn by Harry Potter and pals at Hogwarts.
Over the years, the scarves have become part of the Ramblers fan culture and identity, created by the need for a small school to stand out.
They’re popular with the Loyola Lumos’ Quidditch team, an official sports club founded in 2010.
Adapted from the Harry Potter Books and movies, Lumos player Kennedy Murphy described their version of Quidditch as a cross between soccer and rugby.
“The goal is really just to get the ball and the hoop,” she said. “It gets pretty rough.”
Mock broomsticks held between their legs, players don maroon and gold striped socks that match the Loyola scarves.
“People are talking about Gryffindor and quidditch relating to the basketball team, and we’re like ‘Hey, we talk about that all the time,’” Murphy said.
Dr. Harry Rossi, former president of the Loyola Alumni Advisory Board, said it’s merely coincidence the maroon and gold scarves look like the ones in the Harry Potter films.
Shockingly, the Potter scarves were out first.
“It doesn’t date back centuries,” Rossi said.
At Loyola, the scarves have been a trend only since 2014. After switching Valley Conference in 2013, during the Ramblers’ first conference tournament, Loyola was looking for a way to stand out in the crowd.
“Is it warm? Not particularly, no,” Rossi said.
On a whim, one of Rossi’s colleagues decided on the scarves, bought 100 online, and handed them out to fans.
“It gives us some uniqueness,” Kennedy said.