CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in more than three decades, the Loyola’s men’s basketball team returns to the Sweet 16 this week.
Tuesday morning, the Ramblers prepared to leave for Atlanta, where they’ll face off against the Nevada Wolf Pack on Thursday.
One by one, Ramblers players and coaches made their way onto their chartered bus at the Gentile Center, heading to O’Hare International Airport, and hoping for another win in what could be a Cinderella story.
A small group of fans, including Marianne Wolfe, stopped by Gentile Center to cheer on their team.
“I have been a part of Loyola community for 12 years. This is madness right now. It is so enjoyable, exciting. I love these guys,” Wolfe said.
The Ramblers advanced to the Sweet 16, after beating Miami and Tennessee on buzzer beaters in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s honestly so crazy, because Loyola is a smaller school. We’re not that big in sports and so the fact that we made it this far has been insane,” Ramblers fan Jennifer La said.
Students have been following the games, and said they never have seen this type of excitement on campus.
“I think the sport and us actually winning has really brought the school together, because not a lot of students have realized how good they are, and that’s kind of a shame,” Camila Flores said.
Flores said she wants to go to the big game, “but I also have a lot of school work and stuff, and it’s kind of expensive. So I don’t think I’ll be going; but if I could, I would.”
Tickets went on sale Monday. Lower level tickets going for $300 each already have sold out, according to a university spokesman. Upper level tickets were still available for $250 each Tuesday morning, but they were close to being sold out.