Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Sister Jean is the real MVP of March Madness

She's stealing hearts on a national spotlight

March 23, 2018 - 4:18 pm

By Joe Schiller

No matter what happens the rest of the way, Loyola-Chicago’s unprecedented NCAA tournament run will forever be in the record books. The No. 11 seed Ramblers have marched their way into the Elite Eight with their most recent 69-68 thrilling win over Nevada. A meeting with No. 9 Kansas State all but separates the Ramblers from an elusive Final Four appearance. 

But it hasn’t just been head coach Porter Moser and his players who’ve seen the national spotlight, a soft-spoken 98-year old nun by the name of Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt is America’s new sweetheart. 

Sister Jean is new to most of us, but not to the members of the small Jesuit Catholic School in the heart of Chicago. She’s served as team’s Chaplin since 1994 and has quickly turned into the face of the tournament. From Loyola’s stunning buzzer beater win against Miami in the first round to now, Sister Jean has been there every step of the way. The spotlight has earned her appearances on many major media platforms, including ESPN and Good Morning America. 

No fan or pundit expected the Ramblers to make it this far, even Sister Jean herself. She had the team losing in the Sweet 16 to Cincinnati but you’ll never find someone more excited to see their bracket busted. 

During a time quite literally named March Madness, Sister Jean’s humility has kept her and the Ramblers grounded. They’re no longer the surprise team and realistic championship expectations are on the horizon. 

For the sake of the team, Sister Jean and the rest of us watching from afar, here’s hoping this magical run ends with a championship trophy.