Loyola and MI a 'legit' Final Four showdown

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Loyola and MI a 'legit' Final Four showdown

In the second of those years, Michigan State went to the Final Four in 2015, and Valentine said as a result he's been able to give Loyola players an idea of what to expect as they go to their first Final Four.

They're competing and demanding respect for mid-major programs all around the nation.

Three years before that, in the first 64-team tournament, Rollie Massimino's eighth-seeded Wildcats shot 78.6 percent in the final to knock off top-seeded Georgetown, 66-64. In fact, they were put in a South Region that drew powerhouse programs, like Virginia (31-3), Arizona (27-8) and Kentucky (25-10).

At Loyola Chicago, even Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt plays a role in recruiting. We're happy that she's happy.

The graduate transfer rule has been a point of contention among many coaches, especially those at mid-major schools who fear losing key players to higher-profile programs in more prominent conferences - the way OH did with Simmons.

"The administration, I think, should be prepared for more [general public] interest in applying", said Rodger Smith, a communications professor who has been at George Mason since 1994.

The Ramblers, a #11 seed, take on #3 seeded MI on Saturday. In 2018, Custer was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year this season and Richardson won the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.

One thing Moser told his team before it arrived in San Antonio was he wanted them to enjoy the moment.

The Ramblers (32-5) are the fourth No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four.

"We got in late and we got up early", said Moe Wagner, Michigan's high-scoring German big man. MI averages 17.4 free throws per game, but only has a 66 percent success rate. We will provide you with pre-game analysis, roster updates, and news as it happens live here on VAVEL.

The Ramblers are 4-0 ATS in their last four NCAA Tournament games and 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. Instead, Skaggs signed with the Cougars and became one of the Pac-12's most exciting shooters in his debut season, finishing ninth in the conference with 69 3-pointers.

"I think it's definitely an advantage for us that we've been through it before", Brunson said. "Clay would just throw balls to spots and Ben would just be right there because they played together for so long".

"The (other) option would have been fishing with my father", Yaklich said Friday afternoon, minutes before MI took the floor for its final practice prior to its national semifinal bout against Loyola-Chicago on Saturday evening.

Instances like this made the lack of schedule strength even harder than it already was for them.

"When he starts talking to Moe, we are quiet and let him talk to himself". "Because we hope to stay", she said, "and we're confident enough we will". "You just look at him and he looks like this innocent kid, but Clay, he's a tough dude".

Michigan, a team that participates in the Big Ten, had the opportunity to hand-pick their opponents to favor their strength of schedule.

Coached by Larry Brown and led by Danny Manning, "Danny and the Miracles" of Kansas made it to the Final Four as a No. 6 seed in 1988, then beat No. 2 Duke and No. 1 Oklahoma on its way to the title.

Sister Jean was the only one, though, who publicly spoke of this ride as "magical" and told of plans for a team Mass here on Easter Sunday.

MI coach John Beilein, a Jesuit-educated devout Catholic, admires Sister Jean.

"I could stay for an hour", she said.

In each game of the NCAA Tournament, Loyola was listed as an underdog. If the Wolverines have another rough day from distance they might struggle again to get their offense moving. After playing sparingly as a freshman, he chose to transfer and landed at MI, where he had to sit out his sophomore season to satisfy NCAA rules. I use to have to guard guys 6 feet 9 and I remember they looked at me, 'Say man, you're kind of small.' But they would have to move with me and I knew they were going to get exhausted. She was on campus when Loyola won the 1963 NCAA Championship, but was not part of the festivities.

As their high school careers came to a close with a state championship, it appeared the two friends were heading separate directions in college.

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