Sister Jean's prayers have been answered. The Loyola men's basketball team is back in the NCAA Tournament after earning an automatic bid and their most famous fan, chaplain Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, will be in attendance when the Ramblers are in Indianapolis.
Sister Jean, 101, had been awaiting the final decision on travel approval from both Loyola and the NCAA as of Monday. According to the Chicago Tribune, on Tuesday she was told she can travel to Indianapolis for Loyola's opening round game against Georgia Tech on Friday.
"They said there's restrictions," Sister Jean told Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune on Saturday. "You can't run down on the court. You can't talk to the young men. I said, 'I'm not going to run down on the court, and I'm not going to cause any disturbance.' I said, 'I won't do things I'm not supposed to.'"
Prior to Selection Sunday, Sister Jean had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the wake of the pandemic, the NCAA Tournament will look different this year. It is taking place in venues around Indianapolis, not across the country like usual. During the games, fans are permitted to attend in person, but only at 25 percent venue capacity.
Sister Jean became a celebrity during the 2018 NCAA Tournament when the Ramblers made a run to the Final Four before ultimately falling to Michigan. Loyola finds themselves as a No. 8 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament and faces off against No. 9 seed Georgia Tech on Friday.
The Ramblers earned an automatic bid to this NCAA Tournament after defeating Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game on Sunday.