NCAA Basketball: Townes tri-fecta keeps Loyola dancing

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Harkness says his alma mater is "playing well, hope they win". Then, in the second round, Loyola-Chicago downed 3-seed Tennessee 63-62 courtesy of a game-winner from Clayton Cluster with fewer than four seconds left in the contest. Martin responded with a 3-pointer with two seconds left, but Nevada had just four team fouls, which allowed Loyola to run out the clock with a sequence of inbounds plays and fouls.

The Ramblers' run through March continued Thursday as they won a spot in the Elite Eight by toppling No. 7 Nevada in the South Region semifinals, 69-68, in Atlanta to be just 40 minutes shy of a Final Four that last hosted Loyola in 1963.

On March 23, head coach Porter Moser talked to the media about the upcoming game.

"I'll probably remember it for the rest of my life", Townes said. "Well, it's gonna get even better,"' guard Ben Richardson said.

Sad to see the season end but happy for the Wolf Pack's season and tournament run and I can't wait to see what next season holds for this team.

In its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985, Loyola is one win away from an improbable trip to the Final Four.

Loyola (31-5) awaits the victor of the Kansas State-Kentucky game in Saturday's regional final.

A clutch shot by Marques Townes in the waning moments made sure of that.

Washington's putback off his own miss with 1:32 remaining gave Kentucky a 57-56 lead before Brown made two free throws to put Kansas State back on top.

"I think Marcus Townes is the best player on the court tonight", Loyola guard Custer said. "Feels like a dream".

Custer led the team in scoring with 13.3 points per game but the Ramblers were not afraid to share the basketball.

Down the stretch, Loyola executed flawlessly, while Nevada was carried by the Martin twins making ridiculous shots. Jordan Carolina had 19.The Wolf Pack finally faced a deficit too big to overcome.

Nevada scored 15 points in five minutes.

"I should have denied the catch", Martin said of the pass to Townes. The Ramblers closed the half with a 20-4 run, holding the Wolf Pack scoreless for the final 7:55 before the break. Even after leading 20-8 and appearing to have established command, Nevada found a way to trail at halftime for the sixth consecutive game.

Loyola pushed the ball inside on nearly every possession.

MI guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds and Moe Wagner had 21 points when the hot-shooting Wolverines advanced to the Elite Eight with a lopsided 99-72 victory over Texas A&M. He tweeted after the first-round win: "Congrats to (at) LoyolaChicago and Sister Jean for a last-second upset - I had faith in my pick!"

"Everything started working", said Jackson, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half. Nevada knotted the score at 59 on Cody Martin's drive through the middle of the Ramblers' defense with 4:06 remaining.

But this night belonged to Townes and the Ramblers.

Jerry Harkness, Hunter, John Egan and Rich Rochelle sat together in front-row seats at Philips Arena.

Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, BVM, is the chaplain of the Loyola University Chicago Men's Basketball team, and the unlikely breakout star of the college tournament. "So they've got to be pretty good, and whatever they've done here as of late, they're hot".