Loyola Chicago, team of 'winners' bound for Final Four, turns NCAA tournament fans into believers

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SportsPulse: After beating Kansas State to reach the Final Four, Loyola-Chicago players Ben Richardson and Donte Ingram tried to put their incredible NCAA tournament run into perspective.
USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA — Months before they started taking down giants and cutting down nets, the team that was about to put together a historic NCAA tournament run sat down to lunch with another that already had done it. 

The 1963 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, forever remembered as the team that broke racial barriers while winning a national championship at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, is not just some legend of faded pictures and campus nostalgia. There is still a real-life connection between some of the players on that team and the ones who wear the Loyola uniforms now. 

So after a preseason practice in October, some members of that team sat down to eat, watch film of the 1963 championship game against Cincinnati and talk about the statement they made by starting four black players against all-white Mississippi State in the second round, breaking an…

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