The total has gone over in Nevada's last three games. He scored 17 points in the first half, which was only two fewer than he had against Davidson on Thursday and more than he'd had in all but eight previous games this season. With one timeout left, they decided against using it. "We didn't really make them work defensively". Nevada then reached this Sweet 16 by outlasting Texas in the first round in overtime 87-83, then rallying to upset Cincinnati 75-73 in the second round. The Ramblers shaded him with a second defender throughout the game, and through a combination of guard play and his own aggressiveness, Loyola was able to limit him to just nine shots. The gift of life for Loyola.
"Coach has been (saying): 'Look around". Parker handled the loss with class, making an appeal to Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt: "If you are willing to allow me to jump on the bandwagon of Loyola, I am willing to join the party".
They're the Cinderella team in what has become a Cinderella convention, and that's OK with the Ramblers. "We feel like we're chasing. We're hungry for more". We've got to chase Nevada.
What must it be like to be 19 or 20 and part of something so big and joyous and ridiculous? Talk about upsets. Who knew the Illini would chalk up a win this postseason? "We don't really cross", Huggins said. "The attention West Virginia is getting, shoot, half the media doesn't even know we're a state".
For despite all this first-weekend fun - which easily could continue today - it was hard to watch Villanova vaporize Alabama and Duke destroy Rhode Island and not think the really big upsets are nearly done, the really big names once again about to take over March Madness. We did a lot of great things this year, but it's motivation. College basketball has been down for so long in the city that, when a story like this comes around, you forget how thirsty you were for it.
Syracuse, the tallest team in the country, has prevailed because of coach Jim Boeheim's zone defense.
Loyola players certainly understand the spirit of the message. Woe to that player.
So, too, is Loyola, whose prayers again were answered in the waning seconds when Clayton Custer's winning basket bounced up off the front of the rim, lightly touched the backboard, and dropped softly back down before slipping through the net with 3.6 seconds left.
There's no hint of me-first on this team, at least from the outside.
Actually, the better question might be whether there's a team out there capable of derailing a Villanova-Duke semifinal, because both those schools have played like national champion contenders thus far.
"We believe in each other, " Richardson said. The resume and eye test make it obvious this team should have been seeded around 8.
They can do this.
The Vols (26-9) didn't have a single player rated as a top-125 prospect according to composite rankings of recruiting services compiled by 247Sports, yet they matched the third-highest win total in program history and earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That's how confident they are, and that's how well they play together. The South Region, which includes Loyola, is now devoid of the No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 seeds.
Fellow No. 1 seed Villanova opens the action against Alabama, as the Wildcats look to avoid a second-round exit for the second year in a row.
"It's wonderful when you have a group of people who believe", Moser said. "I'm like, 'Are you kidding?" "I'm letting them enjoy it because it's a mature, close group". That's a gift given and a gift graciously received.