CHICAGO (CBS) — Loyola fans gathered in Rogers Park in Chicago on Saturday afternoon to watch the Ramblers make their second Sweet 16 appearance in the past four years.
CBS Chicago’s Meredith Barack was at a watch party where fans went from excited to anxious fairly quickly.
A short time ago seats set up outside near R Public House and Jarvis Square Tavern in Rogers Park were filled with fans wearing maroon and gold.
You could definitely feel the mood shift from hopefulness to heartbreak as a Ramblers rally fell short in their 65-58 loss to Oregon State, but fans are confident Sister Jean’s squad will be back.
“We have a great coach. We have a great program,” Linda Bubon said.
Linda and Jocelyn Travis met in 2018 when cheering on the Ramblers; a friendship born from Loyola basketball.
Jocelyn is a Loyola grad, Linda lives nearby.
“A win for Loyola means a win for this neighborhood,” Linda said.
Today’s loss won’t change how they feel about the team.
“We’re kind of down, but we’re excited. Look how far we’ve gone. So we’re still excited,” Jocelyn said.
It’s how other fans feel as well.
“I wanted my neighborhood university to win,” one fan said.
“They’re all playing their hearts out. It’s really cool,” another fan said.
It is a win, however, for Renee Labrana, the owner of R Public House.
“We’ve been closed inside ever since the pandemic started, and we’ve been putting out small TV’s,” Labrana said.
The big game and big TV truck brought out alumni, families, and even four-legged fans.
“It’s wonderful, because we definitely aren’t one of the Big Ten or those large teams, so it’s great to see it. We all love Sister Jean, and everybody’s just so happy to see other people,” Labrana said.
Loyola fans said they’re confident they’ll see the Ramblers back in the NCAA Tournament again.
“We’ll be back; like Sister Jean says. Yes!” Jocelyn said.