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Heaven sent: Chat with Sister Jean brightens Final Four



SAN ANTONIO (AP) Who needs "One Shining Moment" if you have sister Jean?

The 98-year-old nun, who has become the face of this highly inspirational NCAA tournament, held a Good Friday Judgment at one of the most-attended press conferences ever in the Final Four.

Hundreds of reporters and cameramen crowded into an interview room that would normally attract two dozen journalists for one player] Article below …

"I walked by and I thought it looked like Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, "said Loyola-Chicago coach Porter Moser.

It was more monumental than that.

This was the # 1 fan of Moser and Ramblers ̵

1; the 11-member crew whose magical, supernatural run at the top of the title would have made for big theater even without a nun ,

Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt has added a whole new, unexpected and wonderful twist to the process. Her 15-minute question and answer session on the eve of Loyola's game against Michigan illustrated exactly why.

She asked questions about whether God cares about basketball – "more the NCAA than the NBA" – a light trash talk with former Michigan star Jalen Roses 100-year-old granny – "Someone said,` Maybe need you have a pair of boxing gloves and I said, "Well, we'll see what happens" – and what it takes to make your prayer truly heard – "God is always listening But maybe He thinks it's better to do the "L" instead of the "W" and we have to accept that. Much has changed, says Sister Jean, since the Ramblers last made history – in 1963, when she ended an equally unexpected run by knocking off Cincinnati for the national championship.

"I saw it on one small 11-inch black and white TV, and the game was delayed (tape), "she said." And then everyone came out of the house and walked down the line along Sheridan Road, men and women together. "[19659002] Sister Jean has been in a whirlwind since the Ramblers began this unexpected return to college-praised land [196592002] That all this happens on Easter weekend makes it all the more hectic, but as they have shown over and over in the last three weeks sports and religion can really mix as long as you keep everything in perspective. "

" We have a university mass together on Easter Sunday, "she said." You know, I said Easter Sunday because we hope to stay, and we are confident enough that we will do that. "

Sister Jean is far from being the only Catholic who is seeking fame in this Final Four. On the other side of the bracket, the Catholic school Villanova is represented by pastor Rob Hagan – aka Father Rob – the Associated Press said the match is "something like the fight with your brothers and sisters." We are all in the same family . "

Michigan coach John Beilein used a question put to him about sister Jean to remind people that, like the Loyola Chicago players, he is a product of Jesuit education.

"And I had a priest, not even in my own parish, stopped the mass and said, 'You have sister Jean, you all prayed for you here,'" Beilein said. "It has a great deal It's great and it's great. "

Not that this mix of sports and religion is particularly groundbreaking: Players thank God all the time, and mostly their prayers and thanks are largely ignored by the mainstream media and fans

But college basketball is going through some difficult times these days, filled with dirty trainers and agents, payouts to players, and an FBI investigation that has exposed corruption in many corners of the game.

The change is imminent.

19659002] Sister Jean's presence has reminded everyone that the game is more than slam dunks, blown brackets, big bucks, and the shiny "One Shining Moment" video that ends things in the end.

" It's just cool that everyone in the world knows who she is now, and they start to see how cool she is and how great she is, "said Rambler guard Clayton Custer.

On Friday, Sister Jean's 15 minutes of fame was just that: 15 minutes, and then it was time to go to the regularly scheduled menu of interviews with coaches and players. 19659002] But she was

"I could stay an hour," she said.

Talk to a nun for an hour and talk to a nun?

Nary, a soul protested

AP Sports Writers Dan Gelston and Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.

More AP College Basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org; https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 and https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-special-events

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