Get to know the nine Jesuit basketball teams heading to March Madness

Nine Jesuit varsity basketball teams packed their dancing shoes for March Madness!

Here’s a look at the teams, a key player to watch on each team, game information, and a fun fact about each of the seven universities represented this year. (Congratulations to Creighton and Gonzaga for sending both of their teams to the NCAA.)

And for a little more background learning, check out this podcast on the history of Jesuit hoops with ESPN’s John Gasawayauthor of “Miracle on Hardwood”.

Creighton University Bluejays

Women: 10 seeds, Greensboro area

Game: vs. Colorado, Friday, March 18, 1:30 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNEWS)

Summary of the season: 20-9 (15-5 in the Great East)

Player to watch: Tatum Rembao. Fifth-year seniors are averaging 6.3 assists per game, a top ten nationally.

Tatum Rembao

Men: 9 seed, Midwest Region

Game: vs. San Diego State, Thursday, March 17, 7:27 p.m. ET (TV: truTV)

Summary of the season: 22-11 (12-7 in the Great East)

Player to watch: Ryan Hawkins. The 6’7” senior forward from Atlantic, Iowa leads the Bluejays in points (13.9 points per game) and rebounds (7.8 rounds per game) this season.

Creighton University Fun Fact: University President Fr. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, has just published a book titled “Jesuit Higher Education in a Secular Age.” Prof. Hendrickson shows how Jesuit colleges and universities can educate students toward greater self-awareness, a stronger sense of global solidarity, and a greater capacity for inspiration, awe, and gratitude.

Notable alumni:

  • Ron Hansen, novelist, essayist and teacher
  • Kyle Korver, former NBA player
  • Don Keough, former chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola

Fairfield University Deer

Women: 15 seeds, Spokane area

Game: vs. Texas, Friday, March 18, 8 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN2)

Summary of the season: 25-6 (19-1 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; conference champions)

Player to watch: Lou Lopez-Senechal. This French star (via a basketball academy in Ireland) averages 19.6 points per game and was unanimously voted MAAC Player of the Year.

Fairfield University Fun Fact: the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality offers retreats, spiritual direction, and other programs, many of which are open to the public and conducted via Zoom.

Notable alumni:

  • Katherine Lapp, executive vice president of Harvard University
  • Bob Sullivan, journalist, author and founding member of msnbc.com
  • Peter Pronovost, critical care physician and MacArthur Fellow

Gonzaga University Bulldogs

Kaylynne Truong
Kaylynne Truong

Women: 9 seed, Wichita area

Game: vs. Nebraska, Friday, March 18, 3:30 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNEWS)

Summary of the season: 26-6 (15-2 in West Coast Conference; Conference Champions)

Players to watch: Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong are the first Asian-American twins to play Division I basketball. They’re both averaging 10.8 points per game this season, which is real twin wizardry.

Men: 1 seed, West Region

Game: vs. Georgia State, Thursday, March 17, 4:15 p.m. ET (TV: TNT)

Summary of the season: 26-3 (13-1 in West Coast Conference; Conference Champions)

Player to watch: Chet Holmgren. The seven-foot freshman can do it all on the court and is the highest-ranked rookie to ever sign with the Zags. (We don’t want to jinx it, but the Bulldogs are the tournament’s top seed and are ready for a deep run.)

Gonzaga University Fun Fact: In the fall of 2021, Gonzaga family paradise open, which includes 73 permanent homes for homeless families. A partnership between Catholic Charities, the university and Gonzaga Prep, the Gonzaga Family Haven affordable housing community is integrated with comprehensive support services so families can stabilize their lives through on-site case management, events community and skills-building opportunities.

Notable alumni:

  • Joseph Caravalho Jr., physician, U.S. Army Major General, and former Joint Staff Surgeon
  • Catherine Cortez Masto, current United States Senator from Nevada
  • John Lo Schiavo SJ, former president of the University of San Francisco

Loyola University Chicago Ramblers

Men: 10 seeds, South Region

Game: vs. Ohio State, Friday, March 18, 12:15 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)

Summary of the season: 25-7 (13-5 Missouri Valley Conference; Conference Champions)

Player to watch: Lucas Williamson. The grad student is averaging 14 points and 5 rebounds per game and is one of the best defensive players in the country.

Loyola University Chicago Fun Fact: Their school of environmental sustainability organizes a conference on climate change this week at the intersection of climate change, human health and justice.

Notable alumni:

  • Bob Newhart, actor and comedian
  • Mamie Till, activist and mother of Emmett Till
  • Jerry Harkness, former NBA player and civil rights activist

Marquette University Golden Eagles

Men: 9 seed, Eastern Region

Game: vs. North Carolina, Thursday, March 17, 4:30 p.m. ET (TV: TBS)

Summary of the season: 19-12 (11-8 in the Great East)

Player to watch: Justin Lewis. The Big East’s most improved player and all-conference first-team member is averaging 17.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

justin lewis

Marquette University Fun Fact: The university has just announced the development of a comprehensive wellness and leisure center, which will bring together campus fitness and recreation facilities with the Counseling Center and University Medical Clinic – student-centric services that are now scattered across campus.

Notable alumni:

  • Chris Farley, actor, comedian and “Saturday Night Live” cast member
  • Gail Collins, author and New York Times columnist
  • Jimmy Butler, NBA player

St. Peter’s University Peacocks

Men: 15 seeds, Eastern Region

Game: vs. Kentucky, Thursday, March 17, 7:10 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)

Summary of the season: 19-11 (14-6 in the Mid Atlantic Athletic Conference; conference champions)

Player to watch: KC Ndefo. The senior forward and defensive stalwart led the nation in blocked shots last season and averaged 2.7 shots per game this season.

Fun fact about Saint-Pierre University: Saint-Pierre celebrates the 150and anniversary of its founding.

Notable alumni:

  • William Durant, American writer, historian and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • John Henning, award-winning television and radio journalist
  • Nicholas Cifarelli, physician, created the first American advisory committee on bioethics

University of San Francisco Donations

Men: 10 seeds, Eastern Region

Game: vs. Murray State, Thursday, March 17, 9:40 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)

Summary of the season: 24-9 (10-6 in the West Coast Conference)

Player to watch: Jamaree Bouyea. The 6’2” grad student point guard is as complete a player as they come. Just check out these season averages: 16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.8 steals.

Fun fact from the University of San Francisco: Encouraged by John A. and Susan Sobrato’s past support of USF, three generations of the Sobrato family have committed $17 million for a new endowment to support scholarships for Bay Area students. The creation of the Sobrato Scholars Endowment Fund marks the largest donation in USF history.

Notable alumni:

  • Bill Russell, former NBA player and coach and member of the Basketball Hall of Famer
  • Suzanne Somers, actress
  • Chung Eui-sun, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group

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