BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The men’s basketball team at Loyola University Maryland is going to the big dance. We’re talking NCAA!
Weijia Jiang spoke to the players.
The Loyola University Greyhounds earned a ticket to the big dance. For the first time since 1994, the men’s basketball team is headed to the NCAA tournament.
After beating out Fairfield University on Monday, Loyola claimed the Metro Atlantic Athletic conference title.
“It was tears of joy, hugging, laughing,” said Justin Drummond, player.
WJZ met up with the Bowie native and the rest of the team at BWI-Marshall less than 24 hours after the game.
Players made sure the trophy never left their side.
“Winning the MAAC championship, that’s like our national championships for a school like us. It means everything to us,” Drummond said.
“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” said Eric Etherly, MAAC championship MVP. “It will the next few days. It’s a dream come true.”
On campus the excitement is undeniable.
“The fact we’re gonna be dancing has given the life to the school and the university. We are so proud of the team,” said a Loyola student.
When head coach Jimmy Patsos took over the team eight years ago, the record was 1 and 27—making this victory that much sweeter.
“I got a lot of texts from all my Ravens friends who said ‘Do it with defense,’ and we did. We’re lucky to finish it off. We’re proud of Baltimore,” Patsos said.
The students at Loyola are on spring break for the week, but when they get back on Monday there will certainly be a huge celebration for the team.
By Sunday the Greyhounds will know what team they will have to play to advance. It could be one of the “big boys” like Syracuse or Kentucky, but players say they’re ready.