Loyola - Chicago vs. Kansas St, 3-24-2018 - Expert Prediction

Sister Jean's Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are moving on to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament.

And the Ramblers fans are being encouraged to "keep the faith" on billboards, in headline, and the prayers of their 98-year-old team chaplain turned "media darling".

Incredible Loyola of Chicago won the National Collegiate Basketball Championship Saturday night, dethroning two-time champion Cincinnati 60-58 on a tip-in by Vic Rouse with one second to go in an overtime.

"Coach (Porter Moser) has been talking about how 'You think this is good?"

"When he was a freshman, I said, who's going to be our defensive stopper, and he's very stubborn", said Weber of Brown.

Even Sister Jean's bracket originally had Loyola bowing out in the Sweet 16.

And this squad is inescapably being linked to the 1963 team.

GETTY Barry Brown #5 of the Kansas State Wildcats drives to the basket against Marques Townes #5 of the Loyola Ramblers during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional

Jerry Harkness, the leader of that team, watched this game from the front row with several of his former teammates who were part of another strong and loud Loyola crowd.

This Loyola team will go down in its history for its big shots.

He said it: "I told the guys, you can't look at the name, you can't look at the league". They won in Gainesville against Florida. Yep, they did it again. It was Townes' time.

With the Ramblers ahead by just a point with a little over a half minute remaining in the game Townes caught a pass, pump-faked a Nevada defender and took a three-point shot that will be remembered in Chicago lore for years to come.

The Ramblers shot 75 percent (18 of 24) in the second half. The narrow margin-wins for slight upsets in the Sweet 16 aren't the only similarities for K-State and Loyola-Chicago. Of Loyola's 29 field goals, 21 were layups, a product of the faster pace but also the ball spacing that created so many open lanes.

Nevada rallied and it came to the final seconds.

Loyola's relentless attack on the basket continued as it stretched its lead, one layup at a time, in the second half.

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Cody Martin had just made two free throws as Nevada had closed to within one for the second time with inside of a minute to play.

So don't bemoan Loyola's run, enjoy the ride.

"I can't even start to put into words the outreach that we've had across the country from so many people", Moser said.

Townes sealed that date against Nevada, becoming the latest hero for Loyola. The Wolf Pack didn't score over the final 7:44 of the first half. "We just let some opportunities get away".

Now, anything seems possible. They made 13-of-46 3-pointers in their previous NCAA tournament victories over Montana and Houston.

"The '63 team always comes in and always tries to talk to us and give us their support", Townes said.

What does Sister Jean think about a possible Kentucky-Loyola matchup????Her answer is ideal! She had congratulated each player with a hug on their way off the court, as is Loyola tradition, and didn't appear to mind her 15 minutes extending. "I thought I might have to resort to my nitro (nitroglycerin), but I didn't have to do that", she said after the win.

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