How Ramblers Celebrated as America Watched

This past weekend, tears were shed in Rambler Nation as the men’s basketball journey to the NCAA Championship was cut short. The team who was dubbed the “darlings” of the tournament suffered a disheartening loss to the University of Michigan on March 31. Though the tournament did not have the result that Rambler fans wanted, it was an experience that transformed the entire campus.


I remember hearing on the news a fews weeks prior that Loyola had won the Missouri Valley Conference and being the basketball fan that I am, I instantly knew that it meant something special. The buzz on campus the following days revolved around the game and how terrific the team was doing. It brought on a wonderful transformation. Loyola went from a school where more than half the students were not deeply interested,  to a school where students got lip tattoos for the “blers”. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my university, Chicago’s quiet Jesuit college— not to mention Sister Jean— would have captured the hearts of Americans. The atmosphere on campus was electric with everyone celebrating in their own way.


“Throughout the run, I celebrated and watched the games with my friends in the Damen Student Center. I had so much fun watching and supporting, and although the loss was tough, I couldn’t be prouder of our team because their hard work and perseverance was evident throughout the tournament. I definitely believe this experience and this team will have a lasting positive impact on the athletic culture of our campus”(Anastasia Stanley, First Year).


“The basketball run was so phenomenal. I’m really proud to be a Rambler because who wouldn’t be! I loved how our whole school got together and we celebrated each and everyone of our victories. Personally, I celebrated by watching with my friends and getting an iced caramel macchiato to drink during the game to get me energized. One of the best moments of history”(Sweta Patel, First Year).


It was an experience that I know I will remember for the rest of my life. As I reflected on this journey, I started to wonder about the lasting impact that this event will have on the athletic culture on campus.


One student expressed that she “ definitely thinks it'll have a lasting impact. Even though we lost, Loyola made it far along to the final four, which we haven't done in a long time. It has made students, faculty, and the Chicagoland area more spirited and I hope that that will continue for years to come!”(Angela Martin, First Year).



I came to the same conclusion as Martin; whether or not the momentum continues on to next season and other sport does not matter. What matters is the memories that were created. Just like the team capture the hearts of many unassuming Americans, they have captured the hearts of everyone on campus, basketball and non basketball fans alike.


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