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Here’s who Sister Jean thinks will make the Final Four — and her predictions for Loyola’s fate

Loyola’s beloved 101-year-old chaplain has unveiled her bracket picks for this year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt holds up her March Madness bracket.
Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt holds up her March Madness bracket. The 101-year-old chaplain is headed to Indianapolis to cheer on her beloved Ramblers in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Courtesy of Loyola University Chicago Athletics

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt was likely not surprised by the Loyola Ramblers defeat of Georgia Tech.

Earlier, she unveiled her March Madness bracket — and she’s rooting for the Loyola Ramblers to reach the Elite Eight.

The Loyola men’s basketball team returned Friday to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since its Final Four run in 2018, the season that launched the 101-year-old team chaplain’s celebrity status. Sister Jean is predicting her Ramblers to make it to the Elite Eight, but lose against No. 3 seed West Virginia.

Sister Jean’s 2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket.
Sister Jean’s 2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket. The 101-year-old chaplain has Gonzaga winning the National Championship, but hopes to see her Loyola Ramblers make the Elite Eight.

In a message to the Loyola community, she echoed the Ramblers’ “3W” mantra: “Worship, work, win.” The last year has given everyone a new 3W mantra, she said: “Wear your mask, wash your hands, watch your distance.” She said she hopes the community makes the most of watching their Ramblers move through the tournament.

Sister Jean traveled to Indianapolis to root for Loyola, which played Georgia Tech Friday. The beloved team chaplain could be seen at Friday’s game wearing her signature letterman jacket adorned with a gold and maroon scarf. She also wore a matching maroon-colored face mask.

As Loyola defeated Georgia Tech — 71 to 60 — Sister Jean could be seen in a broadcast of the game clapping and clenching her fists in celebration.

“Sister Jean is staying in Indy,” the NCAA tweeted in all uppercase wording after the game ended.

Loyola will go on Sunday to face No. 1 seed Illinois.

“Watching what our Ramblers have achieved, that space at the Big Dance — who could want for a greater invitation?” said Sister Jean in a message to the Loyola community before Friday’s game.

Among the rest of Sister Jean’s Elite Eight picks are Gonzaga, Iowa, Michigan, Brigham Young, Baylor and Ohio State.

In the Final Four, she has Gonzaga, BYU, Baylor and West Virginia — with Gonzaga and Baylor fighting off in the National Championship, and the Bulldogs winning it all.

Elvia Malagón’s reporting on social justice and income inequality is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.