Former president and Chicagoan Barack Obama tweeted his congratulations to the Loyola Ramblers Thursday after they advanced in the NCAA Tournament following a dramatic win over the Miama Hurricanes in Dallas.
"Congrats to @LoyolaChicago and Sister Jean for a last-second upset - I had faith in my pick!" Obama tweeted.
The 11-seed Ramblers beat out the Hurricanes with a buzzer-beater leading to their first appearance in the tournament in 33 years.
While they're considered the underdogs in that match-up, the team was reportedly feeling strong and their stars were healthy going into the contest against a higher-ranked team.
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.
Loyola is the only team from Illinois to make it into the NCAA Tournament this year, and despite being an underdog, fans were confident they can go far and looking forward to watching them compete.
"You get into every shot, every stolen ball," Loyola fan Curt Fuller said Thursday, calling it "way fun."
"A lot of the guys who are seniors on our team have been working for this since their freshman year so I'm just really excited to see this come to fruition," said another Loyola fan Zach Fowler.
At least six Chicago locations planned to host watch parties for the game Thursday afternoon, including Bulldog Ale House and Lizzie McNeil's.