CHICAGO (CBS) – It has been a 33-year wait, but the Loyola Ramblers are returning to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
It was a quiet return to campus—after their Missouri Valley conference tournament victory over Illinois State on Sunday–because the school is on spring break this week.
However, that doesn’t mean Ramblers’ fans aren’t pumped up, as CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports.
“It was so fun because were so close,” said guard Clayton Custer, who had six points and a team-high six assists on Sunday. “To have this experience with this group makes it extra special.”
Teammate Marques Townes, who grabbed seven rebounds and four points, added: “We have such a close bond together and we love to do everything with each other.”
They shared the victory with their 98-year-old team chaplain and biggest fan, Sister Jean Schmidt.
She said this team is humble and plays smart basketball.
“They don’t care who gets the points,” Sister Jean said. “They send it to the hottest guy on the court and that’s what’s important.”
Freshman student Sarah Yun said she knew this team was special
“Some people we’re like, ‘Loyola is such a small school,’ ’’ said Yun. “Now look at us. We’re going to the NCAA and that’s such a huge thing.”
Fellow student Thomas Scully, who made the trek to championship game Sunday in St. Louis, said: “Being a fan of a team that won the tournament–rushing the court [and] seeing the guys that you’ve been supporting all year raise that trophy and cut down the nets. I mean it was amazing.”