Loyola Chicago in the Final Four recalls the transistor radio

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I was very lucky as a young lad growing up back in the 1950’s and 60’s in Steubenville, Ohio with my trusty transistor radio in my pocket wherever I went.

I lived only a ten minute or less walk from our downtown high school, Steubenville Big Red, where my high school and college basketball indoctrination started with my uncle, Guy Lamantia, who would take me to all the games held in the Big Red Gym. Also, back then Steubenville College played their games in the gym as it was before they built the arena and we really got to see some great players in that little gym.

I was hooked on the game and at night in the cover of darkness under my blanket with my transistor radio I would search out any game. That’s when I became a huge fan of Loyola Chicago. I was able to listen to the great radio announcer Red Rush who called Rambler games like no other with blasts like “he shoots, he scores,” “swisheroo it went through,” “6 to 4 that’s the score” and “it was a ding-dong dilly of a game.”

It is ironic the year 1963 was the first time I had ever heard of little Loyola and Red Rush, thanks to my trusty radio, and they somehow won the NCAA national title that year with an overtime win vs. the Cincinnati Bearcats. Irony struck again when they beat Cincy again this year coming back from a 20 point deficit.

It seems like yesterday but it was 55 years ago and Sister Jean was only 43. I would lay you 11/10 she had a transistor radio in her habit back then, listening to the final along with me, a young lad at the age of 15 not knowing he was listening to history.

My only regret is I never kept my transistor. In today’s world we have Wi-Fi but I wish I had kept my Hi-Fi and those 45’s. Good luck, Sister Jean and the Ramblers, and thanks, Red Rush, for the memories.

NCAA Final Four

At San Antonio

I love San Antonio as I did my Air Force basic training there back in 1967 and had a great time. We have some great matchups with the first game on Saturday being the aforementioned Loyola Chicago Ramblers vs. Michigan. The Wolverines are a -5.5-point chalk with a total of 128.5.

I will be rooting for Loyola but here are some past results to take into account before betting. Number 3 seeds like Michigan have gone 5-1 ATS the last six times while 8 seeds or higher are 2-5-1 ATS in this round. Teams that score 65 points or less in their Elite Eight game have gone 7-2-1 ATS in this round. Finally, Big Ten teams favored by -1 or more points have gone 4-0 ATS.

The numbers speak volumes in favor of Michigan.

In the second game we get another great matchup between two 1 seeds with Villanova opening up as a -5-point chalk over Kansas with a big total of 155. Only one past ATS trend here – 1 seeds that are dogs in this round have gone 5-1 ATS.

Kansas comes off a very gutty win and, as this tournament suggests, take the puppy here.

Horse sense

The weather in Arcadia, California will be great all week so we can get back to a horse play this week.

Thursday at the Great Race Place we will use a runner in the 5th, which is a key race in this eight-race card. It is the last leg of the early pick five and first up for the late pick four. No. 7 Moonlight Blue ran a huge race last out when battling tooth and nail the entire 1-1/16 trip at this level when the bug boy Franklin Ceballos got on for Vladimir Cerin. He rides again going a mile and has a weight plus pace advantage here, We will be singling in the pick five.

The bottom line is you probably don’t own a transistor radio but you can still get out and watch, bet and enjoy the games all week long. So get off that couch, find a lucky keno machine, make some parlays, bet the ponies’… you just never know, you could be walking around lucky and not even know it.

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