ST. LOUIS - No team forced to play on Thursday has ever gone on to win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Fortunately, Loyola doesn't tip off its postseason run until Friday.
The Ramblers need to reel off three in a row to make the Big Dance.
But, their first opponent is a familiar one.
Less than a week ago, Southern Illinois' Armon Fletcher drained a deep three with 17 seconds left in regulation to hand Loyola its sixth loss of the year by a basket or less.
Despite being swept in the season series, the Ramblers believe their third meeting with Salukis will be different.
"We just scouted them, so we know everything about them," remarked senior guard Milton Doyle. "We don't have to do too much. Same game plan, just execute. Play harder."
"To be honest, we wish we could play them earlier to get that bad taste out of our mouths," noted fellow Chicago native Donte Ingram. "It's good that we get to play them again because I think we'll do what we're supposed to do - come out and beat them."
"I'm excited to play them again, not because of that matchup, but because anytime you lose you have that pit in your belly," explained head coach Porter Moser. "To get a chance to come right back and do something about it, that's a situation you look forward to. We're looking forward to playing better. We're looking forward to competing in the tournament. This is why it's called Madness. Anything can happen. Our guys are confident. We really feel that we can go in there and play well."
SIU and Loyola square off Friday afternoon at 2 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.