It took Loyola-Chicago 33 seasons to make an NCAA Tournament since its last appearance in 1985.
It now needs one more win to make its first Final Four in 55 years.
A gorgeously dramatic Sweet 16 game played out in Atlanta on Thursday night, with 11th-seeded Loyola edging No. 7 Nevada 69-68 to move to the South Regional final. This team is giving off a heavy George Mason vibe right now -- only it has Sister Jean, who has become the celebrity this tournament and this sport didn't know it needed.
Of course the world's second most famous Catholic (she's coming for you, Pope Francis) was interviewed after the Ramblers' poised win Thursday night.
"I don't care that you broke my bracket I am ready for the next one," she said, alluding to the fact that she indeed had her team losing in this round. "We did it, and for a nice little school like ours, we are just so proud of them, and we have every reason to continue to do that."
Take a look. The world tour continues. This team is an incredible story and Sister Jean is unlike anything we've ever seen in sports.
"I don't care that you broke my bracket." - Sister Jean pic.twitter.com/yKuBklhIw0— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 23, 2018
A 98-year-old team chaplain that is embodying a lot of goodwill and good faith in our love for sports.
You know, it's been an embarrassing season for college basketball in some regard. The FBI scandal that began in the preseason wound up trailing in the background for much of the regular season. Controversies elsewhere, at Arizona and Michigan State, brought more detrimental news. A blast of FBI-related news in February threatened to hover ever closer over this tournament.
But that hasn't happened, and now a small school out of the Missouri Valley Conference has turned into a classic story. Here's Sister Jean and the Ramblers capturing the nation's attention and giving March Madness one of its best stories in the history of this glorious tournament.
With the one-point win on Thursday, get this: Loyola-Chicago is only the second team ever to reach the Elite Eight by having a total of four points in margin of victory in its first three games. Saint Joseph's in 1981 is the other team.
And now the Ramblers will face the winner of Kansas State-Kentucky in Saturday's regional final. The Ramblers are aiming to become the fourth No. 11 seed to make the Final Four. The previous ones: LSU in 1986; George Mason in 2006; VCU in 2011.
Something divine is happening here. Will this epic story include a trip to San Antonio? We find out Saturday night.