BALTIMORE - The Loyola University of Maryland men's basketball team is dancing their way to the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time since 1994 and just the second time ever after beating Fairfield for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship.
The Greyhounds used an 11-1 run to start the second half to turn a four-point deficit at the half around. They also held Fairfield scoreless in the first eight minutes of the second half on their way to the 48-44 win on Monday night.
Tuesday, the team returned to the school's North Baltimore campus to a hero's welcome.
Despite it being spring break for the campus, students and faculty showed up to welcome the team back with their MAAC championship. You could tell the team and coaching staff appreciated the support.
"The fan support and the staff, it's a lovely thing," says sophomore basketball player Jordan Lantham. "It's unbelievable, unbelievable feeling."
The Greyhounds were the second seed in the MAAC tournament. Fairfield had gotten into the championship after knocking off the top-seed, Iona, in Sunday's semi-finals.
Loyola was lead by Junior forward Erik Etherly who had 10 points and seven rebounds. The Greyhounds also shot 33 percent for the game while holding Fairfield to just six made shots in the entire second half.
Loyola is now 24-8 on the season, one win away from tying the program record for the most wins in a season. That record was set back during the 1948-'49 season. This is also the team's first ever 20-win season as a Division I program.
Loyola will now have to wait until Sunday to find out who they will be playing and where in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.