Loyola-Chicago is headed to the Final Four for the first time in over a half-century and fans can’t contain their joy.
There’s no doubting Sister Jean is the figurehead of Loyola-Chicago’s run to the Final Four. She’s been championing the team from the start, and just about everyone had latched onto her has the unofficial mascot of this year’s March Madness.
But there’s a group of people who have been aboard the Sister Jean train from the start, and they all pay tuition at Loyola. Rambler fans can tout unique OG status — and a potential slot on this year’s Fandom 250 — as they watch their team march towards a National Championship, and there are few things as blissful as hearing their cathartic cheers.
Loyola more than made it to the Final Four, it did so by absolutely blowing the doors off Kansas State. For being one of the best defenses in the tournament field, the Wildcats had no answer to the power of the Ramblers, and that was a force felt in the roar of the crowd. As the seconds ticked off the clock at the end of the game, those fans lucky enough to be in atendance couldn’t contain their joy.
Fans who were watching from afar were just as loud:
It’s more than just celebrating the Final Four berth. Ramblers fans have been celebrating this entire run, including holding a rally for the team during last week’s break.
Before Sunday’s Elite Eight game, Bar 63 — a Loyola hangout — had a line out the door and around the block with fans wanting to see the game.
And those who traveled with the team saw them off as they left their hotel early Sunday morning.
This is history in the making. After Loyola’s win, only four teams have made it to the Final Four with an 11-seed tag. All three teams before the Ramblers lost in the Final Four: LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, and VCU in 2011. The lowest seeded team to ever win the tournament was Villanova in 1985, so Loyola could etch its place in the history books with two more wins.
Right now, though, all that matters is what’s happened. For fans gathered at the campus on the north side of Chicago to alumni all over the world, Loyola basketball is one of the best programs left standing.