What is a Rambler: the Ultimate Loyola Bandwagon Guide

With the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls eliminated from the playoffs, and with the Cubs and White Sox still a week away from Opening Day, the Windy City’s attention has turned to the Loyola Ramblers.

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Originally called the Grandees, the “Ramblers” nickname was adopted by the school in 1926.
nAccording to the school’s website, the term “Ramblers” was used because the team used to travel all across the United States, “rambling” from game to game.
nFans of the team during their last tournament run in 1985 will remember the team’s mascot “Bo Rambler,” which was short for “Hobo.” That mascot was used until 1990, when the university decided it was a bad idea to use a hobo as a mascot and replaced it with the Wolf, who still patrols the sidelines to this day.
nThe wolf is associated with Saint Ignatius of Loyola, according to the school.
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This year’s tournament has been a memorable one for Loyola as they’ve gotten to the Elite Eight with victories over some of the country’s top teams, but this isn’t the first time they’ve “Rambled” through the tournament.
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During the season, they have owned the sixth-best defense in the nation, giving up just 62.4 points per game. They are the proud owners of the best defense remaining in the tournament, and they will be facing a less potent offense than they did in the Sweet 16, as the Wildcats have averaged just 60 points per game so far in the tournament.
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That isn’t to say that Loyola’s road to the Elite Eight has been easy. In fact, the Ramblers have won their three games by a total of four points, including their one-point win over Nevada in the Sweet 16.
nAccording to ESPN Stats and Info, the Ramblers are just the second team to reach the Elite Eight with such a small average margin of victory, joining St. Joseph’s, who accomplished the feat in 1981.
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It’s been 13 years since an Illinois team has reached the Elite Eight, as the Fighting Illini romped to the national title game before losing to North Carolina in 2005.
nThe coach of that Illinois team was Bruce Weber, who is now the coach of the Kansas State team that will attempt to end Loyola’s run on Saturday evening.
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Only three 11th-seeded teams have ever made the Final Four, with VCU recently accomplishing the feat in 2011. George Mason also made that run in 2006, and LSU, who made it in 1986, was the first team to accomplish it after the NCAA instituted seeding in 1979.
nNone of those three teams made the championship game of the tournament.
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