Loyola (Chicago) head coach Porter Moser has won just 22 games in two seasons at the school, but the Ramblers did manage to increase their win total by eight games in 2012-13 (15-16 record). Of their 16 losses seven were by three points or less, and having such issues in close games tends to be the case for many young programs.
The hope for Loyola is that their young players will be better equipped to handle such situations in 2013-14. The upcoming season will also present a new challenge for Loyola basketball, as the school has moved from the Horizon League to the Missouri Valley Conference.
The improvement seen on the court hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Loyola administration, and on Friday the school announced that Moser has received a contract extension through the 2017-18 campaign.
“Under the direction of Coach Moser, our men’s basketball program has come a long way in a short period of time,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. M. Grace Calhoun said in the release. “Both on and off the court, Coach Moser is a leader in every sense of the word and extending his contract affirms our faith in his ability to help the Rambler men’s basketball program reach new heights.
“We look forward to having him lead us into a new chapter in the storied history of Loyola basketball as we build on the momentum of last year and begin competition in the Missouri Valley Conference this season.”
The Ramblers welcome back guard Devon Turk (8.7 ppg) and forward Christian Thomas (12.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) from last year’s squad, and they also add five newcomers with three having redshirted last season. How well Loyola performs this season will depend primarily upon how much their returnees have matured, with the way in which they adjust to a new conference also playing a role.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1
6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)
North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.
After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.
These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.
North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.
Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.
The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.
Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.
Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.
Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.
North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.
South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.
The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.
Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.
This isn’t really a secret.
Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:
You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:
Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.