NCAA Talk

Sister Jean was wrong: Loyola is rambling on to the Elite Eight

Sister Jean was wrong: Loyola is rambling on to the Elite Eight

Sister Jean was wrong: Loyola is rambling on to the Elite Eight.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the 98-year-old Loyola nun and arguably the team's biggest fan, predicted Loyola to lose in this year's Sweet Sixteen in her March Madness bracket. Instead, the Ramblers are moving on.

Loyola used a huge start to the second half to get past Nevada 69-68, advancing to their first Elite Eight since their championship-winning 1963 season.

Nevada was in control early on, leading Loyola 20-8 with 13:36 remaining in the first half. Loyola tightened things up shortly after, going on a 20-4 run to close out the half. Over the final 7:55 of the half, the Wolf Pack shot 0-for-8 from the field (0-for-3 from three), turning the ball over six times.

After the break, Loyola converted on their first 13 field goal attempts, leading by as many as 10 points before Nevada clawed back into the game. The Wolf Pack used a 9-2 run to tie the game at 59 apiece with 3:18 remaining in the game, with Loyola converting just two-of-seven field goal attempts.

Aundre Jackson nailed a three and a layup to put Loyola ahead 64-60 before Nevada's Caleb Martin brought the Wolf Pack within one with a three.

Cody Martin, Caleb's twin, closed the gap to 66-65 before Marques Townes buried a three with under ten seconds remaining to put Loyola ahead for good. Caleb Martin made things interesting with a late three, but it was all for naught, as Loyola held on for the victory.

Immediately following the game, the first Rambler to head to the podium and chat with the media was none other than the Queen of the Dance, Sister Jean:

48 of Loyola's 69 points were scored by just three players, including 18 from Marques Townes and 15 apiece from Jackson and Clayton Custer. The Ramblers converted 55.8 percent of their field goal attempts (38.5 percent from three) compared to Nevada's 41.4 percent (25.9 percent from three). 

Like their wins over Miami and Tennessee, Loyola's victory over Nevada came by a slim margin, tying an NCAA record in the process:

With the win, Loyola becomes the first school in Illinois to advance to the Elite Eight since Deron Williams and Illinois in 2005. Of course, Illinois lost the championship game to North Carolina that season.

The Ramblers' next game is Saturday, when they will take on No. 9-seeded Kansas State in the Elite Eight.

"I don't care that you broke my bracket," Sister Jean said. "I'm ready for the next one."

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

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USA TODAY

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

One of the icons of DePaul athletics is sticking around.

Monday, DePaul extended the contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through the 2023-24 season. Bruno just wrapped up his 32nd season as head coach of his alma mater, leading DePaul to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

While the Blue Demons were eliminated in the Round of 32 this March, Bruno has led the program to the Sweet 16 three of the last eight seasons.

“I am so thankful to be working at a great institution like DePaul,” Bruno said in a press release. “I never would have been here without coach Ray Meyer who gave me a basketball scholarship, Frank McGrath and Gene Sullivan who hired me in the 1970s."

Behind Bruno, DePaul went 27-8 in 2017-18, winning its fifth-straight Big East regular-season title. The Blue Demons also won their third Big East Tournament title in five years, defeating rival Marquette 98-63. Bruno also picked up his 700th career victory in February, defeating conference-foe Butler 86-68.

“I’ve been fortunate to have great assistant coaches through all the years,” he said. “My current staff is absolutely one of the best in the country.

"Most important, the reason you succeed is the players. I’ve been blessed to have tremendous student-athletes help build the DePaul women’s basketball legacy.

“I am excited about this contract extension because we still have work to do. As proud as we are of everything we have achieved, our expectation through the length of this extension is to take the Blue Demons to even higher places.”

 

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

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USA TODAY

Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

Loyola is rewarding Porter Moser for his basketball team's success this season.

Loyola and Moser have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is through the 2025-26 season.

"We are excited to be able to announce a new contract for Porter that will keep him at Loyola a long time," Loyola Director of Athletics Steve Watson said. "He is the perfect fit for Loyola and operates his program the right way, with student-athletes who achieve excellence on the court and in the classroom and are also excellent representatives of the institution.

"We are fortunate to work at a university like Loyola, that values and has made a commitment to athletics. It is nice to reward Porter not just for an outstanding season, but also for the job he has done during his time here."

That's a well-deserved extension for a head coach who led the Ramblers to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985.

As the 11th seed, Loyola exceeded all expectations, shocking the world with a Final Four appearance. The Ramblers took down No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State before losing to No. 3 Michigan, who would go on to lose to No. 1 Villanova in the championship game.

Loyola finished the regular season with a 28-5 record and a MVC Championship.

In seven seasons, Moser has a 121-111 record with the Ramblers, though three of his last four have been winning seasons.