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Ramblers Notebook No. 1: What Have You Done For Us Lately?

"Loyola University Chicago finished the 2017-18 season ranked No. 7 in the final USA Today Coaches Poll, which was revealed this week," LoyolaRamblers.com reports. "Loyola ranked behind only Villanova, Michigan, Kansas, Duke, Virginia and Texas Tech."

That sounds about right.

"During this season to remember, the Ramblers knocked off four nationally ranked teams, disposing of No. 5 Florida, No. 22 Miami, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 24 Nevada."

The Florida win came in December, while the others were in the NCAA Tournament. Still, it is remarkable that Loyola was never ranked this year - until now.

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"Even after winning the MVC tournament, the Ramblers were 46th in the [tournament seed] committee's rankings, below the final four at-large selections that played in the First Four games in Dayton, Ohio," notes Rodger Sherman at The Ringer.

"Before the tournament, I wrote about how the Ramblers were good enough to be a no. 9 seed, but the committee apparently believed that Loyola's resume was not worthy of a spot in the field at all were it not for the MVC tournament triumph that mandated its inclusion."

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Proposal: Give automatic bids to conference winners, not conference tournament winners.

But What Have You Done For Us Lately?
"The Ramblers lose three of their top six players from this season, including double-figure scorers Donte Ingram and Aundre Jackson," ESPN's Jeff Borzello notes as he looks ahead to next year.

Three starters return: the backcourt of Clayton Custer and Marques Townes, and big man Cameron Krutwig.

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Reinforcements:

"Loyola-Chicago signed three players during the early signing period: Franklin Agunanne, Isaiah Bujdoso and Cooper Kaifes. Agunanne (La Lumiere) and Bujdoso (Sunrise Christian) both come from successful high school programs, while Kaifes played on renowned AAU program MoKan Elite."

Red Line Series?
"One school Loyola would love to play is just a few miles south on the Red Line," the Sun-Times reports.

"[Loyola coach Porter] Moser said he 'absolutely' wants to play DePaul and admitted they've 'talked many times.'

"But Loyola hasn't played DePaul since 2012, when the Ramblers beat the Blue Demons 69-61 on the road."

It would be fun to see an annual tournament pitting all of the local teams against each other, with the winner getting to wear the crown of, say, "Chicago's Big Ten Team" for the following year.

Sister Saturation
This is the only one Sister Jean article you really need to read - the rest is Urge Overkill.

Loyola's Legacy

You have likely seen, read or heard about the historic 1963 Loyola team that broke racial barriers on the way to a national championship. If you haven't, or even if you have, take 7:06 to watch this.

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Comments welcome.

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