GAME WINNER pic.twitter.com/NmaAHqhJZ9
— HoopMixOnly (@HoopMixOnly) March 15, 2018
It’s usually the No. 5 vs. No. 12 games that bring us stunners in the NCAA Tournament. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago had other plans on Thursday.
It didn’t take long for us to see the first shining moment of March Madness. With two seconds left until the final buzzer, Loyola senior Donte Ingram caught a pass from teammate Marques Townes at the top of the key and drained the game-winning three to put No. 11 Loyola up 64-62 over the favorite, No. 6 Miami.
Loyola-Chicago is in the tournament for the first time in 33 years and making their presence well known with both stellar play and a raucous crowd that came all the way to Dallas. After a slow first half that saw both teams knotted up at 28, The Ramblers played sloppy in the second half, allowing Miami to gain momentum and a seven-point lead at one point. Loyola never let Miami quite take control, however.
With 44 seconds left in the game, Miami’s Ja’Quan Newton made a tough step-back jumper to put the Hurricanes up two. After going back and forth for the last couple of minutes, Loyola saw luck fall their way when Miami guard Lonnie Walker missed a crucial free throw that could have put the Hurricanes up by two. Ben Richardson grabbed the rebound and gave it up to Townes, who ran it down the court and quickly threw it to Ingram to make the game-winning shot.
As you’d expect, the crowd went nuts.
Ingram finished with 13 points, and Rambler Clayton Custer rounded out the heart-wrenching win with 14 points and four assists. Miami’s Ja’quan Newton finished with an efficient 11 points, while teammate Lonnie Walker led the Hurricanes with 12.
These Loyola Ramblers have led off the tourney in legendary form and will seek to continue their run against the third-seeded University of Tennessee Volunteers, who beat No. 14 Wright State 73-47 to advance to the round of 32.