Illinois State

Loyola locks up first tourney berth in 33 years by topping Illinois State

Loyola locks up first tourney berth in 33 years by topping Illinois State

Going into Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament final it was assured that one Illinois school was going to break a lengthy NCAA tournament drought.

Top-seed Loyola and Illinois State fought to become a Cinderella story, but it was the Ramblers that locked up the tournament spot. Loyola hasn’t been dancing since 1985, which included a Sweet Sixteen run and a loss to Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown.

The Ramblers beat the Redbirds 65-49 to lock up the MVC tournament after going 15-3 in the MVC regular season to win the conference title. Loyola led 39-31 at halftime and used a run early in the second half to extend the lead and put ISU away.

Illinois State, which hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 1998, has now been to three of the last four and six of the last 11 MVC tourney finals and come up short each time. Last year the Redbirds went 28-7 and 17-1 in the MVC, but lost to Wichita State in the final. The Shockers moved to the American Athletic Conference this season and are ranked in the top 15 teams in the country.

Loyola, which moved from the Horizon League to the MVC in the 2013-14 season, got on the national radar with a win at Florida in early December. The Ramblers, which both ESPN's Joe Lunardi and CBS' Jerry Palm have project to be a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tourney, have a 28-5 record and are riding a 10-game winning streak.

Loyola is the first Chicago school to make the tourney since DePaul and UIC both made it in 2004. The Ramblers will be the only school to represent the state of Illinois with down years from Northwestern and Illinois.

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

NCAA Golf Championships and local stars take Rich Harvest Farms by storm

 

The NCAA Men’s Golf National Championships are in full swing as teams have flocked from all across the country to compete at the pristine Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Hill, Ill.

The Championships, hosted by Northern Illinois, span from May 19-31 and include both individual and team competition for the men’s and women’s divisions.

In its first ever appearance at Rich Harvest Farms, the tournament will have no shortage of local talent.

The University of Illinois will be making its 10th straight NCAA tournament appearance led by Nick Hardy out of Northbrook, Ill. The Illini have had semifinal finishes in the last two years respectively, establishing themselves as an NCAA men’s powerhouse and looking to finally make it to the final round this year.

Other local golfers include:

Doug Ghim, Arlington Heights. -- University of Texas

Trent Wallace, Joliet. -- Illinois State University

Other top contenders at the tournament for team play are headlined by USC, Oklahoma State, and Vanderbilt. While for individual play Will Zalatoris out of Wake Forest leads the way, followed by Chandler Phillips out of Texas A&M and Travis Trace out of North Florida.

The men’s portion of the Championships began today at 3 p.m., but have dealt with delays due to inclement weather.

Last week saw women’s play wrap up on May 24 with Arizona State not only defeating local favorite Northwestern for their eighth national title in team play, but also saw Monica Vaughn take home the sixth individual title for the Sun Devils as well.

Men's play continues tomorrow through May 31 and can be seen on the Golf Channel along with the highlighted times below.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May 29

Individual National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Quarterfinals, Team Match Play

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday, May 30

Semifinals, Team Match Play

4-8 p.m. (Live)

Wednesday, May 31

Team Match Play National Championship

4-8 p.m. (Live)

 

Recruiting News and Notes: Samson Evans nearing college decision

Recruiting News and Notes: Samson Evans nearing college decision

Samson Evans (ATH), Prairie Ridge

Prairie Ridge three-star junior Samson Evans (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) is planning to announce his college decision soon.

"I'm planning to make my college decision soon," Evans said. "I'm just going to make my decision and put it out there. I'm not going to narrow anything down or name any favorites. It's easier that way and I just don't want any sort of drama."

Evans, who has a dozen scholarship offers, has made multiple visits to Iowa over the past year and is seen as a Hawkeyes lean. Evans' Prairie Ridge teammate, junior offensive guard Jeff Jenkins (6-foot-4, 280 pounds), pledged to the Hawkeyes in January. 

Addison West (OG), Cary-Grove

Cary-Grove sophomore offensive guard Addison West (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) recently added his first scholarship offer from Central Michigan. 

"The coach from Central Michigan was in my school on Monday," West said. "They watched one of our morning workouts and I was able to talk to the coaches later on and that's when they offered me."

West has seen a steady flow of college coaches at Cary-Grove this spring.

"We've seen a lot of college coaches in school so far this month," West said. "Penn State, Michigan State, Western Illinois and Illinois State have all been in school recently. The feedback from the coaches has been pretty positive. They all want me to come and camp with them this summer."

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Charlie Gross (OT), Loyola Academy

Loyola Academy junior offensive tackle Charlie Gross (6-foot-5, 280 pounds) has added several scholarship offers and strong Power 5 interest this spring.

"I have 13 scholarship offers now," Gross said. "Last week we had schools such as Penn State, Illinois, Boston College and several smaller level colleges watching our workouts. A lot of the coaches want me to come and camp with them this summer, including several Big ten schools."

Gross has also started to plan his summer camp travels.

"I'm going to the North Central College satellite camp, along with the Elmhurst college satellite camp," Gross said. "I'm still trying to sort it all out but I know I'll add a few more camps soon. Penn State, Illinois and Purdue all want me to camp so I might end up camping at those schools this summer."

Owen Goldsberry (QB), Hersey

Hersey junior quarterback Owen Goldsberry (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) has added five scholarship offers this spring, and continues to draw strong recruiting interest heading into the summer camp period.

"I have offers now from SIU, WIU, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Indiana State," Goldsberry said. "Lately, schools like NIU, Ohio, Wyoming and several other MAC schools have either been in school or they have reached out."

Goldsberry is set to take part in the Northwestern Showcase camp in early June and plans to schedule more camp dates.