Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cinderella's Real Name is Loyola Marymount

For college basketball fans that can remember way back when the name Loyola Marymount is synonymous with Cinderella in the NCAA tournament during a small stretch of the 1980's. Well, guess what, the 2013 version of that team is putting that glass slipper back on if it's the last thing they try. Following Thursday night's crazy, wild 61-60 overtime win against San Francisco, it's safe to say that shoe still fits, even on a smaller scale.

After a disastrous 1-15 regular season the Lions were the 9th and last seed in the West Coast Conference tournament. They weren't supposed to be a tough out for anyone, yet yesterday they dispatched of Portland by 11 points.

Surely, their run would end there, right? It had to, I mean they were about to face 5th seeded San Francisco (both of our sleeper picks by the way). The Dons had shown signs of life down the stretch, winning their final three WCC contests and getting themselves a decent seed in the tournament.

Oops, someone forgot to tell them that the Lions were back from the dead apparently. Amazingly, it was the Dons on the back foot in most of this one and it took a big time tip in with 15 seconds left from Cole Dickerson, who had a game high 23 points and 18 rebounds, and a missed jumper from LMU for USF to even get to overtime.

Of course the OT period was a hard fought, low scoring battle and would come down the end once again. With 15 seconds left in overtime it was a two point, 58-56, game and the Lions had Anthony Ireland on the line. He hit both of his free throws to make it 60-56 and following an LMU foul with 11 seconds left the lead was cut to just three. Once again the Lions stepped up at the line and hit one of two to make it 61-57 with 9 seconds remaining.

Just how big was that final free throw? Well, of course none other than Cole Dickerson hit a three pointer with 2 seconds remaining to make it 61-60. We could've been staring double OT in the face, but LMU avoided the foul situation and walked away with their glass slippers firmly on their feet in the West Coast Conference tournament.

They'll have to really hold on to them tightly as they'll take on 4th seeded Santa Clara in the quarterfinals on Friday night at 9pm Eastern on ESPNU.

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