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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Loyola vs. Kansas State

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Ben Richardson and Sister Jean ramble past Bruce Weber to make the Final Four!

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional-Loyola vs Kansas State Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

This should have been titled “The Good, The Good and The Good” because our ‘Blers are going to the Final Four!!!! The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are going to the Final Four for the first time since 1963 when they won the whole thing.

The Good

Sister Jean

Move over Mother Teresa, Catholicism has a new matriarch. By now you have met the woman who has taken the nation — excuse me — the globe, by storm.

Sister Jean is the 98-year-old chaplain for the Loyola Ramblers basketball team and she is simply a delight. If you know anyone who has a single bad thing to say about Sister Jean you should report them to your local authorities immediately. Sister Jean delivers the pregame prayer, provides encouragement and her own scouting report to the players and coaches. You have heard all of these stories, but this is what makes college sports different, and this is what makes March great.

Sister Jean is the first topic in this recap because of this clip below. This will be the best moment of the tournament, and if it doesn’t give you chills, you should see a doctor.

This woman has the ear of the Lord and I will follow her anywhere.

The “Don’t Miss for the first 10 Minutes of the Second Half” Strategy

I don’t know what Porter Moser’s contract looks like, but he should be getting paid a lot more. This man is the absolute king of halftime adjustments.

In its Sweet 16 game, Loyola started the second half by making its first 12 shots against Nevada. Tonight, I looked up and saw they had started the half 9-of-10 from the field. It’s a bold strategy, one many teams often don’t implement, but it paid dividends for the Ramblers this weekend in Atlanta.

Also, the Ramblers are the best reverse-layup team in the country. Every shot is a reverse layup to protect the ball against the more athletic defender and every time it is more and more beautiful to watch.

Ben Richardson and the Fourth Hero in Four Games

Game 1: Donte Ingram Game Winning Buzzer Beater

Game 2: Clayton Custer Game Winner

Game 3: The Marques Townes Game and Dagger

Game 4 belonged to Ben Richardson. The Ramblers didn’t need a game-winning or clinching shot like they did in their first three games, but Richardson’s performance was just as impressive. The senior guard had 23 points, six rebounds and four assists on 7-of-10 from the field and 6-of-7 from three. The 23 points were a career high for Richardson. In fact, this guy is averaging six points a game, his season high was 14 and has only scored in double-digits five times all year. What in the world is going on? This honestly doesn’t make sense. This has Sister Jean’s fingerprints all over it.

What is so unique about this team is that any player can carry the load on any night, and they have proved that in four consecutive games. They don’t appear to have a weak link, which is a nightmare for opposing coaches who are trying to draw up a scouting report. Each one of these kids are getting their moment in the spotlight.

The Bad

Bruce Weber Losing

Let’s start off by saying Bruce Weber is a good, good man. Weber was not only the leader of the Illinois Men’s Basketball Program for nine years, but a leader in the Champaign community as well.

It’s important that whenever Bruce Weber is mentioned, we talk about and remember how good of a person he was. Those are the rules.

Illini fans all over twitter were thrilled to see Bruce having his own success in his second life after Illinois. Unfortunately, Weber ran into Sister Jean and the Ramblers and his team’s season is sadly over. I know many Illinois fans were excited to see a potential Bruce Weber vs. Bill Self National Championship game, a game that would have featured two great men and one great basketball coach (decide for yourself).

Unfortunately, we will have to wait another year to see if Bruce can make it back to the Final Four.

The Ugly

The Loyola Logo

Honestly, I’ve only watched 5 Loyola games all season (I watched the Arch Madness Championship game, no big deal), so I don’t have too many bad things to say about the Ramblers. In my eyes, they have never lost, and are one of the best college basketball teams of all time.

These are simply the facts that I have seen with my own two eyes.

The other thing I have seen with my own two eyes is the Loyola logo. And this might be a take, but it’s hideous. The Gryffindor colors aren’t the best, but that’s not much of an issue (plus the scarves are pretty cool).

The issue is this:

What is that? It looks like Loyola found out they were going to be in the tournament at the last minute and CBS asked for a logo for the selection show, and the administration turned to an intern and said, “We need a logo, fast”. It’s a ClipArt wolf nest to an “L”.

That looks a high school logo or the logo of a school that never thought millions of people would see their logo or wanna buy their school’s merch.

Loyola needs a rebrand.

At least make the wolf maroon or something.

Also, as a Chicagoan, my first thought was that they just ripped off the wolf from the Chicago Wolves logo.

I don’t know which came first, but someone stole from someone there.

Also I Googled definitions for “rambler” for quite a while last night and there was no mention of wolves. That’s fine, you can still totally have a wolf mascot run around at the games. But why the wolf next to the L?

I have so many unimportant questions for the athletic department. But for now, I’ll quit my incessant rambling.

What’s important is that if I’m Loyola, I’m using some of this new money from this final Four run to upgrade the logo, maybe rebrand the university a bit. They should definitely just be able to go by “Loyola” now instead of “Loyola-Chicago.” Let all the other Loyolas define themselves with a location. If you make the Final Four, you are officially THE Loyola. As far as changing the logo, at the very least just go with a block L or make the new logo a silhouette of Sister Jean. Or maybe just bring back this guy.

Now THAT is a Rambler.

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are going to the Final Four. And that is why college basketball is the best sport on the planet. Go ‘Blers!!!