©2020 by Ralph Schudel

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    Sister Jean and Loyola Chicago busted our brackets and we're fine with it


    The first round of the NCAA Basketball tournament is a magical time filled with hope and optimism, which quickly turn to rage and regret when your bracket inevitably gets busted.

    The story of Sister Jean is a pleasant marriage of those two concepts.

    Sister Jean Delores Schmidt is a 98-year-old chaplain who works closely with Loyola University of Chicago. She has been affiliated with the university for over half a century. Schmidt is known for leading the Ramblers in prayer before games and giving them a scouting report prior to tip-off.

    She even provided a detailed scouting report for every player that head coach Porter Moser inherited when he took over the Loyola head coaching position in 2011.

    "We asked God to help us," Sister Jean said in a story to Sporting News. Thursday marked Loyola University's first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 33 years and they had a tough match up against the sixth seeded Miami Hurricanes.

    The 11th seeded Ramblers defeated the Hurricanes on a last second shot when guard Donte Ingram converted a three-point field goal with less than a half a second left in the game.

    Ingram's field goal sealed the 64-62 win.

    Sister Jean was overcome with emotion and the players and staff stopped to include the 98-year-old in the post game celebration. After the game, Sister Jean shared a bit of what she told the Loyola team before they took the court on Thursday evening.

    "I told God that we would do our part if he would do his part, and I hoped the referees would call the right kind of a game, that nobody would get injured, that we play with confidence and we know we’d win the game," she said during an interview on the television broadcast. "And then at the end when the buzzer rang, we wanted to be sure the score said we had the big W.”


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