Business booming in Rogers Park as Ramblers fans flock to Loyola campus

Business booming in Rogers Park as Ramblers fans flock to Loyola campus

Business booming in Rogers Park as Ramblers fans flock to Loyola campus

Loyola tasted success it hadn't enjoyed in 55 years, slaying giants as a No. 11 seed all the way to the national semifinals with a 69-57 loss to No. 3 seed MI.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Staring down a 10-point deficit against an underdog that seemed nothing short of blessed during the madness of March, Moe Wagner and MI clamped down on Loyola-Chicago and ended one of the most memorable NCAA Tournament runs ever.

Loyola (32-6), with superfan and team chaplain Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt courtside and its fans behind the bench standing for pretty much the entire game, could not conjure another upset.

Sister Jean in San Antonio was not enough for Loyola-Chicago as third-seeded MI was able to pull away from the Ramblers 69-57. Charles Matthews had 17 points for MI, which will carry a 33-7 record and a 14-game winning streak into Monday's title game against either Villanova or Kansas in San Antonio. For a few shining minutes, it looked like the No. 11-seed Ramblers might become the lowest-seeded team ever to reach the national championship game.

Loyola-Chicago had to win the Missouri Valley Conference championship to secure its spot in the NCAA Tournament then made a run as an 11-seed.

Loyola-Chicago has finally ended its long field-goal drought at the Final Four. The shots were falling the second half. Clayton Custer chipped in 15 points for the Ramblers.

Wagner's off-the-dribble 3 tied it at 47 with 6:53 left.

When he hit, it was 54-47, and it was all different. Zavier Simpson was kept off the scoreboard, making 0 of 6 shots.

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Both teams struggled making field goals in the first half, with Loyola shooting 10-for-24 and MI going 9-for-31.

While it was still going, and the Ramblers had an unplanned meeting when Coach Porter Moser had to take a timeout just past seven minutes into the game, they had trailed 12-4.

But it doesn't matter how it happened - they made it to the biggest stage in college basketball.

"Their length. They close the gap of opportunity really fast", Moser said.

Wagner struck twice from 3-point range in the second half, both of them enormously consequential. But they became the fourth No. 11 seed to bow out in this round, in this case because a lengthy MI defense overtook the Ramblers late, when Loyola threw the ball away. As Michigan's basketball coach, he had to find an answer, and the short-term response in the first half was to order Wagner to roll hard off every ball screen and clean up whatever offensive rebounds were available. It made just 7 of 28 three-pointers. And they hit some shots.

However, Texas native Aundre Jackson and starters Marques Townes, Cameron Krutwig would keep the Ramblers in the game.

They were back in it, back demonstrating how their No. 11 seeding had been a mirage.

But after Loyola took a 41-31 lead with 14:10 to play, the momentum shifted toward MI. Loyola didn't have an answer for Matthews' game off the dribble, as he got to the rim easily throughout the game.

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