Loyola just misses out of cracking the AP men’s basketball Top 25

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 31: Clayton Custer #13, Cameron Krutwig #25 and Marques Townes #5 of the Loyola Ramblers celebrate during the first half against the Michigan Wolverines in the 2018 NCAA Men's Final Four semifinal game at the Alamodome on March 31, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – It’s not like people don’t believe in the team that shocked the College Basketball world, but nationally Porter Moser’s team still has a lot to prove as a new year begins.

Following their appearance in the Final Four, Loyola finished just outside the Associated Press’ Top 25 preseason rankings for the 2018-2019 season.

The Ramblers finished 26th in the rankings, just three total votes behind Washington who sits in the 25th spot. Kansas is No. 1 in the poll followed by Kentucky, Gonzaga, Duke, and Virginia in the Top 5.

Michigan, who ended Loyola’s memorable tournament run in the National Semifinal in San Antonio, is ranked 19th.

Moser will return a number of contributors to the Final Four team this season, including reigning Missouri Valley Conference Player of the year Clayton Custer, guard Marques Townes, forward Cameron Krutwig, and guard Lucas Williamson. Key departures include guards Donte Ingram and Ben Richardson, whose play and leadership helped the team to an MVC regular season & tournament title, then four NCAA Tournament wins.

The Ramblers will open the 2018-2019 season at home against UMKC on Tuesday, November 6th at 8 PM.