For the first time since 1994, Loyola University made it into the NCAA tournament with their win last night over Fairfield. In the MAAC championship game, held in Springfield, MA, the second-seeded Greyhounds trailed by four at the half, but opened the second half on an 11-1 run. Loyola ended up winning 48-44 in a defensively tough, low-scoring match.
Junior forward Erik Etherly, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while teammates Robert Olson and Justin Drummond made the all-tournament team.
Perhaps the game was most exciting for coach Jimmy Patsos, who served as an assistant to Maryland's Gary Williams for 13 years and is known primarily for his over-the-top antics on the court. Last night was no different, as he pointed fingers closer to players' faces and whipped up energy in the crowd.
"When I frst came to Loyola, I knew we could win the league," Patsos said in the lengthy post-game press conference. "It's about good players and getting them to believe. I couldn't be happier for the school, the alumni, and the players."
[Image: credit Jessica Hill/Associated Press]