Loyola Chicago’s NCAA tournament run came to a disappointing end on Saturday night in San Antonio. The Ramblers led their Final Four game against Michigan by 10 points in the second half, but collapsed late in a 69-57 loss.
As time ran out on their magical season, tears started to flow from players’ eyes. Guards Clayton Custer and Ben Richardson – teammates as third-graders and high schoolers – walked off the court with their arms around each other.
BVNW Grads Clayton Custer and Ben Richardson just walked off the court together for the final time. Sister Jean was there too. Amazing what this kids have accomplished. Heartbreaking end to an incredible story. @kmbc pic.twitter.com/kTjVOTYTvn
— Matt Evans (@MattEvansKMBC) April 1, 2018
Richardson was sobbing as he neared the locker room. Loyola coach Porter Moser, who had hugged both on the court, threw his arm around the senior and said, “keep your head high.”
“Keep your head high.”
Congrats to Porter Moser and Loyola on an incredible run. pic.twitter.com/rqXIzfqww4
— Alex Roux (@arouxBTN) April 1, 2018
Before they headed back to the locker room, though, all Loyola players and staff members paused and lined up to give hugs to Loyola’s now-famous 98-year-old team chaplain, Sister Jean.
— Ryan Baker (@RyanBakerMedia) April 1, 2018
— Matt Gasper (@MattGKSNT) April 1, 2018
Sister Jean greets Loyola staff and players after the Final Four loss. pic.twitter.com/L19kwqyn2m
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 1, 2018
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 1, 2018
The players were still dejected as they walked back to the locker room. Marques Townes seemed to take the loss particularly hard.
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) April 1, 2018
All of them, though, will surely remember the last few weeks for the rest of their lives.
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