Faith or fate? A look at Loyola’s unbelievable NCAA tourney run

CHICAGO -- Faith or fate? A look at Loyola's unbelievable NCAA tourney run.

The Loyola Ramblers are one win away from the Final Four.

It’s a season many Loyola fans could only dream about. But they’ve certainly been praying for it.

Three thrilling wins, outstanding team work, the charm of a 98-year-old nun and the faith of the fans have all combined to have Chicago believing.

It doesn’t take a “leap of faith” to jump on the Ramblers bandwagon. After all, the man upstairs is right there with all of Chicago - at least according to what Sister Jean told the nation on Good Morning America.

“We have God on our side,” she told Robin Roberts.

Father Tom Hurley is the pastor of Old St Patrick’s church in downtown Chicago. He also celebrates pre-game Mass for the Chicago Bears and knows how important it is for fans to have faith.

“I would be very careful to say that God picks sides, but if God happens to be nudging us in this direction going toward the Final Four, we’ll take it,” he said.

Pastor Hurley says whether it’s Sister Jean’s prayers, or a few lucky breaks, there is undoubtedly something special about Loyola’s charmed run to through the NCAA tournament.

The Ramblers have been the underdogs in all three games so far, yet they’ve won all three by a total of only four points. Each game came down to the final furious seconds.

“Everybody wants to say it was divine intervention, but I think it’s just tremendously exciting,” Pastor Hurley said.

And the Ramblers fans are being encouraged to “keep the faith” on billboards, in headline, and the prayers of their 98-year-old team chaplain turned “media darling.”

“I can take it all the way,” Sister Jean said. “That won’t be too hard at all. That would be fun.”

Loyola’s longshot bid started on a wing and a prayer, now the Ramblers are one win and a prayer” away from the Final Four.

“We talk about faith, we have trust, we have confidence, this is a gift from God,” Pastor Hurley said. “And I think what’s going on right now is a great gift from God, which is great energy not only for Loyola, but also the city of Chicago.”

The Ramblers take on Kansas State on Saturday at 5 p.m. plenty of time to get to mass or light a candle. It takes faith or fate to win in the Elite Eight.