Loyola Ramblers Depart for NCAA Tournament

It's almost tournament time for the Loyola Ramblers.

The university's men's basketball team left Rogers Park for Texas Tuesday, ready to face the Miami Hurricanes on Thursday in Loyola's first NCAA Tournament in decades.

The Ramblers earned their first trip to the Big Dance in 33 years by beating Illinois State University to win the Missouri Valley Conference championship game earlier this month.

The Ramblers haven't won the national championship since 1963 and the last time they made an appearance in the tournament was in 1985.

"This is for Chicago, this is for this program, the university, the coaching staff, everybody deserves it," senior guard Donte Igram said, after scoring 18 points and nabbing eight rebounds in the March 4 game.

"You know, it's been a drought for a long time but we here, we going," he added.

Players, fans and head coach Porter Moser celebrated on campus at a watch party on "Selection Sunday" after finding out they were the 11th seed.

Loyola is the only team from Illinois to make it into the NCAA Tournament this year, and despite being an underdog, fans are confident they can go far.

Their tournament journey begins when they take on the Hurricanes at 2:10 p.m. Thursday in Dallas.

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