Sister Jean’s prayers were answered again in another heart-stopper, and the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are going to the Sweet 16, just as they did the last time they were in the NCAA Tournament 33 years ago.
Clayton Custer bounced in a jumper with 3.3 seconds left, and 11th-seeded Loyola beat SEC-co champion Tennessee 63-62 in a South Region second-round game.
Custer’s winner came two days after Donte Ingram’s buzzer-beating 3 for Loyola, surely to the delight of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the 98-year-old nun, team chaplain and primary booster watching from her wheelchair on a platform near the main TV cameras.
The Ramblers (30-5), who won the Missouri Valley tournament, broke the school record for wins set by the 1963 NCAA championship team. Loyola will play the Cincinnati-Nevada winner in the regional semifinals Thursday in Atlanta.
Tennessee (26-7) took its only lead of the second half on three-point play with 20 seconds remaining.