Since the teams arrived in Indianapolis, the hub of the entire tournament this year, more than a week ago, players have been tested daily for the coronavirus and largely confined to their hotels. Each team has its own floor. The extraordinary setup is an attempt to keep the virus at bay, but it couldn’t stop Virginia Commonwealth from getting out after an outbreak on the team shortly before their first game due to be played against Oregon on Saturday night.
March 21, 2021, 7:33 p.m. ET
The chaotic regular season with cancellations, postponements, breaks and fluctuating results has not surprisingly led to wired results.
Loyola’s excitement was the last in a tournament that was rife with them. A record of nine double-digit seeds emerged from the first round, with teams like Oral Roberts, Abilene Christian and North Texas moving on. Ohio advanced, but the state of Ohio did not.
Loyola’s victory was surprising, but not a shock.
The Ramblers (26-4) who won the Missouri Valley Conference were ranked eighth in the Midwest, despite the NCAA’s own metrics system and Pomeroy College’s more credible basketball ratings, which ranked the Ramblers as the top 10 Team rated.
“I certainly thought we were misplaced,” said Sister Jean, clad in her postman’s jacket with small maroon and gold balloons that adorned her wrist from her seat halfway up the arena. “Sometimes when the committee makes decisions, sometimes it’s heart, sometimes it’s head, sometimes it’s numbers, sometimes it’s – I hate to say the last word – politics.”
The good sister, now 101 years old and fully vaccinated, has shown the same resilience as the players. She made an agreement with the university last week to go to Indianapolis, drawing on the biblical parable of an old woman in the Gospel of Luke who asks a judge to grant her wishes until he finally concedes and says, “Let her do what she wants. ”