We Are Allowed Pure Joy, Even In A Pandemic — With Another Run In The NCAAs From Cinderella Loyola Chicago (Echoing 2018)…

While Franklin D. Roosevelt was still President, she played a killer-competitive brand of varsity high school Catholic League b-ball, for St. Paul’s in San Francisco.

Sister Jean is 101 this year — 102, come August. I’m told she no longer travels with the team, nor always even attended home games (pre-COVID-19). . . but she (I will bet) does tune in — and will, on Sunday. Sister Jean moved from California to teach at Mundelein College in Chicago in 1961. During the mid-1960s, she was active in the civil rights movement. She was hired by Loyola in 1991 when Mundelein was merged into Loyola. She has worked as the team chaplain for the Ramblers men’s basketball team since 1994. . . . [That graphic at right is from the 2018 Final Four run.]

Here’s the latest college b-ball pundits’ guess — the Ramblers might be a Six or Seven seed. . . but could also rise — to a Four seed. . . grinning, leprechaun-like:

. . .I don’t think anyone can confidently predict where the selection committee will slot 24-4 Loyola Chicago on Sunday. Some predictive metrics love this team. Loyola Chicago is No. 9 at KenPom, No. 10 in the NET and No. 18 at BPI. Meantime, KPI has it 30th, Sagarin 40th and Strength of Record 43rd.

It’s unusual to have a team rank in the top 10 of multiple computers yet still have so much metric disparity. Will the selection committee mostly rely on what the Ramblers have done from a résumé perspective? If so, a 6-4 mark vs. the top two quadrants with potentially zero wins against the field (if Drake doesn’t get in) could put them in No. 10-seed territory.

But a robust record — and other metrics suggesting this team is No. 4 seed-good — suggests the committee might try to split the difference. . . .

No — you would be correct — this has nothing to do with life science, space science or human rights. But I do enjoy it, so here it is. I’ll publish a bracket next week. . . grinning, indeed.


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