Watching Loyola’s student-body get lit after seeing their team advance to the Elite Eight is what makes March Madness so special.
When the final seconds ticked down to zero and guaranteed the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers a ticket to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, the students back on the snowy campus on the North side of Chicago went crazy.
This is why we love March Madness so much.
The NCAA Tournament, while certainly not perfect, is everything the College Football Playoff is sadly not. March Madness gives schools like Loyola-Chicago, a private school consisting of over 16,000 students, a chance to shine in the bright lights of college basketball’s premier tournament.
No one (including yours truly) picked the Ramblers to get out of Round One against the Miami Hurricanes, much less make it to the Elite Eight. Yet, here they are, a game away from the Final Four in San Antonio, and giving the nation what it desperately needs in these turbulent times: a positive story.
In an era of questionable leadership, both in Washington and at the NCAA’s headquarters in Indianapolis, the Ramblers have pushed through all of the negativity and given not only their fans something to love, but the entire nation.
That’s this tweet of those students getting lit after the Ramblers punched their ticket to the Elite Eight was a feel-good moment.
The Loyola fateful, including super-fan Sister Jean, was all of us. America loves a good underdog story, and Loyola-Chicago is fitting the role perfectly. They’re playing the same role George Mason played 12-years ago, the last time we had a true underdog get all the way to the Final Four.
This time seems different, though. When George Mason made their run, we were in the middle of a war, but times still seemed more stable than they do today. That’s why seeing those kids go crazy means a lot more than just a fun Twitter post.
For a moment, we took time out from the bad headlines to celebrate a true underdog. Let us all hope that the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers can keep dancing past midnight.
We could sure use it.