If an 11-seed gets hot and advances out of the tournament's first weekend next year, that team is destined to be covered in therms of "are they this year's Loyola?".
Loyola's a team that's busted a lot of brackets, but lots of people still came out to cheer them on in their Final Four match up against the Michigan Wolverines Saturday night.
After falling behind, 12-4, in the game's first 7½ minutes, Loyola controlled the next 25 minutes of action before succumbing to the size and skill of MI forward Moritz Wagner, who finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds, and suffering from a rash of 17 turnovers, including five in a row during a critical second-half stretch. "But in a couple of weeks or a couple of months, the memories are going to outweigh the pain".
While it was still going, and the Ramblers had an unplanned meeting when Coach Porter Moser had to take a timeout just past seven minutes into the game, they had trailed 12-4.
And Wagner got plenty of help, as guard Charles Matthews finished with 17 points, while starting guard Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman joined reserves Jaaron Poole and Duncan Robinson with seven points each in the semifinal victory.
This Loyola team became just the fourth No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four with patient offense and precision passing. At moments, it seemed like it might keep whacking fruitlessly as its shot persistently banged off the rim.
Loyola turned it over on three straight possessions, and Wagner tipped in a miss by Poole, was fouled and converted the three-point play to put MI up 54-47 with just under 5 minutes left. Moritz Wagner led the charge with a historic performance.
Wagner also went flying off the elevated court, chasing a loose ball, avoiding injury but taking out CBS commentator Bill Raftery's eye glasses.
Sister Jean still told her players they'll never be forgotten.
While it was still going, the Ramblers had reminded MI and everyone else of their belonging. She says, "Oh yeah".
"And what I said to them was: The more you invest in something, the harder it is to give up".
The players were looking good making shot after shot. Everybody's favorite underdog team and their No. 1 fan had a 10-point lead in the second half, but couldn't overcome a slew of late turnovers and missed shots.
While Saturday's 69-57 loss to MI didn't end the way Sister Jean would have wanted, Loyola-Chicago became the darlings of the tournament by emerging from the South Regional as a No. 11 seed.
It wasn't remotely pretty, but MI basketball has moved onto its second NCAA Championship game in five seasons. The Ramblers had been the Cinderella team of the tournament, and it would have been great to see them finish their improbable run with a national championship.
Nobody at Loyola should, not after one of the more remarkable NCAA Tournament runs in decades - and certainly a feel-good story that saved the Chicago sports winter. They've both played at a high level all year and entered March Madness as popular picks to win it all. They knew how close they were to playing for the title.
"Sister Jean drinks High Life".