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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

SISTER JEAN TO SWEET 16

By Marc Lawrence — We’re only one round into the tournament and we’ve lost the reigning national champion (Virginia), a No. 1 seed (Illinois), a No. 2 seed (Ohio State), a No. 3 seed (Texas) and two No. 4 seeds (Purdue, Virginia).

Best of all, Sister Jean and Loyola Chicago are headed back to the Sweet 16.

The Ramblers had not beaten a top-2 seed in the tournament since seeding began in 1979. It knocked off just one top-3 seed on its Final Four run in 2018 (3rd-seeded Tennessee).

Loyola Chicago is the sixth team to reach the Sweet 16 in consecutive NCAA tournament appearances as an 8 or lower seed since seeding began in 1979.

And the program is 15-5 all time in the NCAA tournament, tying Duke for the best tournament winning percentage (.750).

I’m not sure if it’s the Holy Water or the Blessed Sacrament but it great seeing the 101-year old chaplain lead the team in prayer during March Madness.

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In a similar vein, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim can thank God that he has a son that can hoop.

The Orange advance to the Sweet 16, their 20th under Boeheim with a 75-72 win over West Virginia.

Buddy Boeheim continued his brilliant postseason – he’s averaging 28.3 points with 24 3-pointers in two ACC tournament games and two NCCA tournament games – as Syracuse advanced to its third Sweet 16 as a double-digit seed since 2016.

According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, Buddy’s 55 points in the first two NCCA tournament games mark the third most in team history.

Coach Jim praised his son’s journey, from a low-rated recruit to a walk-on for the Orange. “He works harder than anybody that I’ve ever coached, and it’s not close.”

Grinding Out The Profits

From this week’s Playbook MARCH MADNESS TOURNEY GUIDE: There are actually two other men’s college basketball tournament currently taking place – the NIT and the CBI.

On the CBI card tonight, Longwood University is double-digit dog and that’s been like money in the bank in the CBI tourney, as these teams are 9-1 ATS the last six years.

The Lancers were on a 10-1 winning run before they fell to Winthrop in the championship game of the Big South conference tourney.

The last time their opponent, Pepperdine laid double-digits in the postseason was back in 2002.

The Waves have been post season dogs in each of their last 37 games. You know the deal.

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