Loyola Chicago's Road to The Final Four: A Cinderella Story

Loyola Chicago's Road to The Final Four: A Cinderella Story

The Ramblers are guilty of busting millions of brackets across the nation, as they have danced their way to the Final Four.

If you have a pulse and live in the United States, you are probably aware that the infamous "March Madness" tournament is in progress, and is getting down to the wire. Beginning with 68 teams, it all comes down to the Road to The Final Four. Each year the tournament shocks the nation and oftentimes frustrates loyal fans and those who bravely fill out a bracket, however, this year's tournament is extra, dare I say, mad.

There's always a few Cinderella stories, in which a few lower seeds make a run for a game or two and advance further than anyone anticipated. However, this year's tournament has included the craziest, jaw-dropping upsets the world of college basketball has ever seen.

For starters, for the first time in the history of the tournament, a #16 seed defeated a #1 seed. That's right, UMBC smacked around one of the favorites to win, the Virginia Cavaliers by a whopping 20 points. But, the real Cinderella story that has continued to reek havoc in "The Big Dance" are the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. Seeded at #11, they were automatically viewed as an underdog in the eyes of the public, but some had hoped they would make an upset over their first opponent, #6 Miami.

The Ramblers survived and advanced after an exciting 64-62 wins over the Hurricanes. It's not uncommon for one of these upsets to bust people's brackets, but the momentum usually ends for the underdog as the proceeding games approach. Their next opponent, Tennessee, was clearly favored to defeat the Ramblers and many thought their run would come to an end.

However, they fought their way through another victory and came out on top, 63-62. As the team danced their way through the madness, a prominent figure emerged from the university. Loyola Chicago team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, has been the team's biggest fan for over 50 years, and has become an icon in the tournament. She has been shown supporting the team at every game thus far in the dance, and has lead them in prayer.

Her prayers have certainly been answered as the Ramblers have done the unthinkable, advancing to the Final Four to face the Michigan Wolverines. Loyola Chicago is the fourth 11th seed team in the history of Division I College Basketball to advance to the Final Four. Now many think the Ramblers run will end when they play in San Antonio on March 31st, but Sister Jean and the entire organization will continue to keep the faith, and hope to advance to the final and, miraculously win the ship.

Cover Image Credit: si.com

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.

I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.


The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

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