Sister Jean Granted Permission To Attend NCAA Tournament
I have some bad news for Sister Jean. You're only going to get one weekend of madness this March.
Sister Jean won the hearts of America during Loyola's magical run to the Final Four in 2018 as an 11-seed. Jean Dolores Schmidt, more popularly known as Sister Jean, has been the team's chaplain since 1994. She was front and center in the media's eye as the Ramblers shocked the country. There were bobbleheads made of her that sold for hundreds of dollars. She needed help juggling all the interview requests.
She's not just a figurehead for the team either. Sister Jean regularly addresses the team and has a personal relationship with everyone involved in the program.
All this leads up to the news report earlier this week that Sister Jean was not going to be allowed to travel with the team when they opened the NCAA Tournament this Friday afternoon as an 8-seed against Georgia Tech.
People were angry that the 101-year-old was going to be denied access. These people were wasting their time being angry. Do you think there was any way Sister Jean wasn't going to be allowed in the gym Friday afternoon? That would have been just a horrendous PR move by everyone involved. From the school to the NCAA to the state of Indiana, they'd all look like bums. Fortunately, cooler heads (obviously) prevailed and Sister Jean is now headed to Indianapolis to watch her Ramblers.
Awesome for Sister Jean, and fortunately she won't have to ask for permission again next week because Loyola is not making it out of this weekend alive. First, they have to go up against Georgia Tech. A dark horse pick going into the tournament. They play a unique 1-3-1 zone with a bunch of weird looks. The type of defense that can win you a few tournament games from opponents that aren't used to that. A positive COVID case in the Georgia Tech program could take away some of their much needed depth.
But if they get past the Yellow Jackets, I have some bad news for Sister Jean.
These guys will be waiting for you.
Just the hottest team in the country. Sorry Sister Jean, not this year.
Follow the Illini's march to the Final Four on 1440 WROK where we will bring you every Illini NCAA Tournament game.
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