CHICAGO (CBS) — The loyola Ramblers have hit the road to the Final Four. The team headed to San Antonio on Wednesday, to prepare for this weekend’s matchup with the Michigan Wolverines.
This has been such an exciting time for Loyola fans to watch their team play in the tournament and to make it this far. They know the ramblers are in it to win it.
Fans, including Sister Jean, have been there every step of the way as the Ramblers have posted four upset victories; including three heart-pounding wins by a combined four points in the first three rounds, and a dominating 78-62 win over the Kansas State Wildcats in the Elite Eight.
A small group of Ramblers faithful came out to cheer on the team as coaches and players boarded buses to the airport Wednesday morning.
“I come through campus once in a while, but I definitely wanted to come here this morning. I heard the choppers, and I knew they were taking off, so I just wanted to take it all in,” Donald Gordon said.
Gordon graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 1986.
“I’m old enough to remember ’63. So that was a fun year too; really fun,” he said. “Hopefully, come Tuesday next week, maybe we’ll be celebrating again. I just want them to beat Michigan,” he said.
Others were hoping for the same outcome.
Marie Tarallo said she and her sister have been fans for more than 30 years.
“She graduated class of 1981. She was a history major, and she was a big fan of the Ramblers. We used to go all the time,” she said.
As they held their last home-court practice on Tuesday, players said the support has been out of this world.
“It’s just unbelievable to see that the support is with us, and that everyone’s behind us, and that the skyline’s maroon and gold and it says ‘Go Ramblers.’ It’s really fun,” Loyola center Cameron Krutwig said.
“I just know Chicago takes pride in its basketball, and for me be able to bring home a national championship for Chicago, and show Chicago in a positive light, it’s just an opportunity that I’m going to cherish for the rest of my life,” Loyola guard Lucas Williamson said.
The 11th-seeded Ramblers are the underdogs again as they head into Saturday’s game against the 3rd-seeded Wolverines, but the assistant sports editor of the Loyola student newspaper is picking the Ramblers to dance their way to the NCAA championship game on Monday.
“We decided Loyola’s got a slight Edge in this one. We think Loyola is going to play in the national title, but it’s going to be close. It might come down to another buzzer beater,” Nick Schultz said.
Tipoff is at 5:09 p.m. Saturday on TBS.