The last hopes for the Society of Jesus

Do not dismay, Boston College.

While our men’s basketball team was unable to make the 2013 March Madness tournament, some of our Jesuit brothers are still alive in the Round of 32 and need our help getting through to the Sweet Sixteen.

Gonzaga University, Georgetown University and Saint Louis University, all of whom were high seeds in their brackets, were eliminated from the tournament at the hands of Wichita State University, Florida Gulf Coast University and Oregon University, respectively. Our Gavel Media sports writers recently gave their picks for the tournament and took part in a daylong email chain on Thursday, voicing their reactions to the first round of college basketball action.

With these schools’ departures from the single-elimination tournament, the only Jesuit schools left standing are La Salle University, Creighton University and Marquette University.

La Salle and Creighton both play tonight, March 24, and hope to extend their season into the Sweet Sixteen, as La Salle takes on Ole Miss at 7:40 and Creighton plays Duke at 9:40. Marquette, meanwhile, has already secured a spot in the Sweet Sixteen and is awaiting the winner of the Illinois-Miami game.

As BC fans, we would certainly prefer to see the likes of Olivier Hanlan, Joe Rahon, Eddie Odio or Ryan Anderson headed upcourt on television, but we must not forget our fellow Jesuits in their time of need. The last time a Jesuit university won March Madness, formally known as the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, was in 1984 when Georgetown took home the hardware against Houston.

There is something to be said for a year that saw six Jesuit universities make the postseason tournament and one more, Boston College, go 16-17 while losing ten games by five or fewer points. There is great potential for this BC squad to make a lot of noise next year and they will have a legitimate shot at sneaking into the tournament as a low seed. This team will benefit greatly from another year of almost untouched chemistry, as only graduate student Andrew Van Nest will be leaving.

So in a year that could serve as a precursor for what Jesuit institutions like Boston College can do in the realm of collegiate basketball, let us rally behind our brothers of the cross and help show the nation that Jesuit schools do more than just pray at the free throw line.

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