The slipper still fits for Loyola-Chicago after advancing to the Elite 8 Thursday night with another thrilling victory over Nevada.
The No.11 Ramblers are now the highest seed remaining in the NCAA tournament and their feel-good story is on the door step of the Final Four. Next up is an almost equally unlikely opponent in the 9th-seeded Kansas State Wildcats, who shocked Kentucky 61-58.
Loyola has won its three games by a combined four points, and they’ve needed late game heroics each time out. In the first round against Miami it took a Donte Ingram 28-foot three-pointer at the buzzer. Against Tennessee in the round of 32, it was a 15-foot running jumper from Clayton Custer with 3.8 seconds left that sealed the win. Last night, it was Marques Townes’ three-pointer from the corner with six seconds left that lifted them to the 69-68 victory.
Loyola’s 2018 March Madness run has been the most dramatic we’ve seen from a mid-major since 11th-seeded VCU in 2011 and 11th-seeded George Mason in 2006. Both made it all the way to the Final Four.
If the Ramblers can keep the clock from striking twelve on their Cinderella story with a win over the Wildcats Saturday, they’ll be 80-minutes away from repeating as National Champions, if you can believe that. The Ramblers won the title in 1963.