Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune
July 8, 2011
The underdog Ramblers faced the two-time NCAA champ Cincinnati Bearcats in the March 23, 1963 title game in Louisville. Early in the second half, Cincinnati was up 15, but led by forward Jerry Harkness, Loyola stormed back and forced overtime.
With seconds left, and the score tied at 58, radio announcer Red Rush gave the call: "Harkness has the ball on the baseline. Ron Bonham is guarding him. Jerry fakes, he's going up to shoot, no, he passes the ball to Les Hunter at the free-throw line. Hunter's shot is ... no good, it's off the iron, but there goes Vic Rouse high in the sky. His tip is good! It's good! We won! We won it! We won the national championship!"
Loyola remains the only school in Illinois to have won NCAA Division I Men's Basketball championship. The trophy now resides in the lobby of the basketball suite in the Norville Center. "The success of the 1963 team remains the greatest achievement by any team sport in Loyola history," assistant athletic director Bill Behrns said. "The 1963 team also was a major player in the civil rights movement as four of the team's starters were African-Americans. What the 1963 Loyola men's basketball team accomplished ranks as one of, if not the, greatest achievements in the storied sports history in this world-class city."