Loyola Ramblers fall to Michigan Wolverines

Sunday, April 1, 2018
Loyola Ramblers end NCAA tournament run
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The Loyola Ramblers lost to the Michigan Wolverines Saturday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There was heartbreak in the heart of Texas as the Loyola Ramblers fell to the Michigan Wolverines in the Final Four.

The Wolverines beat the Ramblers 69-57.

Loyola's miraculous run to the Final Four will be remembered for clutch shots, the "Wall of Culture," a couple of guards who have been playing together since grade-school and, of course, Sister Jean.

In Gentile Arena, there was disappointment over the loss - but also gratitude for the ride.

"It has been so exciting, coming back to campus and experiencing the game with current students with other alumni," said Loyola alum Amy Alexander. "The energy has just been fantastic."

The Ramblers may have lost the game, but over the course of the tournament, they won the hearts of the nation.

"It has been crazy. I can't believe how far Loyola culture has dispersed throughout the entire country," said Loyola alum Ishani Patel. "We have truly made an impact."

Students and alums also said they are glad that Sister Jean has become well-known because she has always been a star on campus.

The Ramblers were the lowest seeded team to reach the national championship game and were considered by many to be the stars of this NCAA Tournament.

The Ramblers were the fourth No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four. The last two were George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011.

The other contest features Kansas vs. Villanova in the most lopsided Final Four bracket since the tournament was expanded in 1985. These two No. 1 seeds square off in what might as well be called the "Big Boy Semifinal." Barring an injury or something else totally unexpected, the winner will be favored to take the championship two nights later against either third-seeded Michigan or the Sister Jean-inspired Loyola.


To fulfill a bet with Ann Arbor, Michigan mayor Christopher Taylor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel will send corned beef and pastrami from Manny's Deli along with a donation to the Jim Toy Community Center.

Also joining in the fun was the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. The landmark was decked out in maroon and gold Saturday, and visitors could get a $4 ride in honor of the Final Four.


An entire family is on their way to watch the Loyola Ramblers in the NCAA Final Four.

An entire family traveled to watch the Loyola Ramblers in the NCAA Final Four.

The Germinos made it a family affair at Midway International Airport.

Tom Germino met his wife at Loyola. One of their sons met his wife there too. It's a Germino generational thing.

"So to have this happen and make the Final Four, it's just mind boggling," Tom Germino said.

Well, almost a generational thing. Greg is the black sheep of the family, but a huge Rambler fan.

"I went to their Jesuit college, Marquette," Greg said. "Kinda liken it to, I'm a big Cubs fan and my family isn't. They kind of bought into that two years ago."

Greg's brother married a Rambler, too.

"We ended up getting married at Loyola. Had the reception at Loyola and lived down the street for a couple years as well," Matt Germino said.

"It's amazing how the rest of the city is all behind Loyola, even if they went there or they did not," said Paulina Germino.

By air or by bus, fans traveled to San Antonio by the thousands.

And former Loyola Rambler and number one NBA draft pick La Rue Martin sees success, but it might not be where you think.

"And their GPAs aren't bad either on this team, so that goes to show there's life after sports. And maybe some of them may make, some of them may not make it. But they have a plan," Martin said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.