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Loyola Greyhounds Hope To Upset Ohio State Buckeyes In NCAA Match

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Mark Viviano 370x278 Mark Viviano
Mark Viviano is sports director for WJZ. Most recently, Mark was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The men’s basketball team from Loyola University Maryland steps onto the national stage Thursday night.

Sports director Mark Viviano has a look at the underdog Greyhounds and their upset hopes against Ohio State.

It’s a rare opportunity for Loyola:  They play in Pittsburgh Thursday night. It’s the first NCAA Tourney for the Hounds in nearly two decades, and they want to make it last beyond Thursday night.

That’s easier said than done for little Loyola when they face powerhouse Ohio State–big and powerful, from the Big 10 conference, a national championship contender. Yes, they’re that good.

“I have major concerns about Ohio State,” said Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos. “I just ran into Sullinger in the hallway. That guy’s a monster, you know?”

Everybody knows about Jared Sullinger, Ohio State’s forward center, who will be playing in the NBA next season.

The job of guarding him goes to a Baltimore guy, Loyola’s Jordan Latham of City College.

“It’s gonna be challenging. I played against when we was coming up. We came out in the same class time. He’s a real big body, real physical. Just gotta be as physical as him. Gotta defend,” Latham said.

What does the Buckeye big guy think of Loyola?

“They’re a very athletic basketball team. They like to get up and down the floor, love transition and a lot of guys can score the basket for them,” Sullinger said.

So how do the Greyhounds plan to pull off an upset?

“If we can get the game going fast we have a chance. If they put us in a meat grinder and go slow and Sullinger just starts going to work, you can call me at 410—I’ll be in Baltimore Friday by noon,” said Patsos.

Patsos is honest and direct and able to maintain a sense of humor while facing a challenge. They’ll tip-off around 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, Gigi Barnett has more from the pumped up fans.

If most people like the underdog, students at Loyola love them. Their team is headed to the big dance, and the last time they had this chance was 18 years ago.

“We’re Cinderella. We’re dancing. We’re dancing. We got our Cinderella shoes on,” said a Greyhounds fan.

This is pure excitement. Students from Loyola University Maryland are headed to Pittsburgh en route to root for their basketball team.

It has a chance at the dance.

“When is Loyola ever going to make it again? Who knows? It’s been since 1994 since they made it last,” said Matthew Cuff, Loyola student.

It’s a long road to the tournament. Loyola — a small Jesuit university– is facing a huge powerhouse: the No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes.

Even though students call it a David and Goliath matchup, there’s some faith in the Greyhounds.

“It’s a huge game. I know it’s going to be a tough one for us. This is awesome,” said Joe Nemia, Loyola student.

“I’m going to be rooting. I’ve said my prayers. Now I’m going to be doing my cheering,” said Fr. Brian Linnane, university president.

Linnane says the buzz on campus is so strong, the university used a lottery to select the lucky students who’ll get tickets to the big game.

“This is one of our roommates,” Tyler Fisher said, as he held up a lifesize cutout of his roommate. “He couldn’t make it so we thought to bring him in spirit.”

“It surely brings the whole campus together just as I think it brings the city together. It’s just really exciting to have someone local in the dance,” Linnane said.

It’s official. The Greyhounds are unleashed.

Only 150 tickets were available for students.

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