Nine Jesuit university basketball teams have packed their dancing shoes for March Madness!
Here’s a rundown of the teams, a key player to watch on each squad, game viewing info, and a fun fact about each of the seven universities represented this year. (Huge congrats to both Creighton and Gonzaga for sending both of their teams to the NCAAs.)
And for some more background learning, checkout this podcast about the history of Jesuit hoops with ESPN’s John Gasaway, author of “Miracle on the Hardwood.”
Creighton University Bluejays
Women: 10 seed, Greensboro Region
Game: vs. Colorado, Friday, March 18, 1:30pm ET (TV: ESPNEWS)
Season Record: 20-9 (15-5 in the Big East)
Player to watch: Tatum Rembao. Fifth-year senior averages 6.3 assists per game, a top ten mark nationally.
Men: 9 seed, Midwest Region
Game: vs. San Diego State, Thursday, March 17, 7:27pm ET (TV: truTV)
Season Record: 22-11 (12-7 in the Big East)
Player to watch: Ryan Hawkins. The 6’7” senior forward from Atlantic, Iowa, leads the Bluejays in scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.8 rpg) 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.” Fr. Hendrickson shows how Jesuit colleges and universities can educate students toward a better self-awareness, a stronger sense of global solidarity, and a greater aptitude for inspiration, awe and gratitude.
- Ron Hansen, novelist, essayist and professor
- Kyle Korver, former NBA player
- Don Keough, former president and CEO of Coca-Cola
Fairfield University Stags
Women: 15 seed, Spokane Region
Game: vs. Texas, Friday, March 18, 8pm ET (TV: ESPN2)
Season Record: 25-6 (19-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; Conference Champions)
Player to watch: Lou Lopez-Senechal. This French star (by way of a basketball academy in Ireland) averages 19.6 points per game and was the unanimous 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.
- Katherine Lapp, executive vice president of Harvard University
- Bob Sullivan, journalist, author and a founding member of msnbc.com
- Peter Pronovost, critical care physician and MacArthur Fellow
Gonzaga University Bulldogs
Women: 9 seed, Wichita Region
Game: vs. Nebraska, Friday, March 18, 3:30pm ET (TV: ESPNEWS)
Season Record: 26-6 (15-2 in the 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 some real twin sorcery stuff.
Men: 1 seed, West Region
Game: vs. Georgia State, Thursday, March 17, 4:15 pm ET (TV: TNT)
Season Record: 26-3 (13-1 in the West Coast Conference; Conference Champions)
Player to watch: Chet Holmgren. This seven-foot freshman can do it all on the court and is the highest-ranked recruit to ever sign with the Zags. (We don’t want to jinx it, but the Bulldogs are the top seed in the whole tournament and are poised for a deep run.)
Gonzaga University fun fact: In the fall of 2021, the Gonzaga Family Haven opened, which features 73 forever homes for families experiencing homelessness. A partnership between Catholic Charities, the university and Gonzaga Prep, the Gonzaga Family Haven affordable housing community is embedded with wraparound support services so that families can stabilize their lives through on-site case management, community events and skill-building opportunities.
- Joseph Caravalho Jr., physician, U.S. Army Major General and former Joint Staff Surgeon
- Catherine Cortez Masto, current U.S. Senator for Nevada
- John Lo Schiavo SJ, former president of the University of San Francisco
Loyola University Chicago Ramblers
Men: 10 seed, South Region
Game: vs. Ohio State, Friday, March 18, 12:15pm ET (TV: CBS)
Season Record: 25-7 (13-5 Missouri Valley Conference; Conference Champions)
Player to watch: Lucas Williamson. The grad student averages 14 points and 5 rebounds a game and is one of the best defensive players in the country.
Loyola University Chicago fun fact: Their School of Environmental Sustainability is hosting a climate change conference this week on the intersection of climate change, human health and justice.
- 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, East Region
Game: vs. North Carolina, Thursday, March 17, 4:30pm ET (TV: TBS)
Season Record: 19-12 (11-8 in the Big East)
Player to watch: Justin Lewis. The Big East’s most improved player and member of the all-conference first team averages 17.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Marquette University fun fact: The university has just announced the development of a comprehensive wellness and recreation facility, which will bring together campus fitness and recreation facilities with the counseling center and university medical clinic — student centric services that are now dispersed across the campus.
- Chris Farley, actor, comedian and “Saturday Night Live” cast member
- Gail Collins, author and New York Times columnist
- Jimmy Butler, NBA player
Saint Peter’s University Peacocks
Men: 15 seed, East Region
Game: vs. Kentucky, Thursday, March 17, 7:10pm ET (TV: CBS)
Season Record: 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 swats per game this season.
Saint Peter’s University fun fact: Saint Peter’s is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding.
- William Durant, American writer, historian and Pulitzer Prize winner
- John Henning, award-winning TV and radio news reporter
- Nicholas Cifarelli, physician, started the first U.S. Bioethics Advisory Committee
University of San Francisco Dons
Men: 10 seed, East Region
Game: vs. Murray State, Thursday, March 17, 9:40pm ET (TV: CBS)
Season Record: 24-9 (10-6 in the West Coast Conference)
Player to Watch: Jamaree Bouyea. The 6’2” grad student point guard is as well-rounded player as they come. Just check these season averages: 16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.8 steals.
University of San Francisco fun fact: 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 Endowed Fund marks the largest gift in USF history.
- Bill Russell, former NBA player and coach and Basketball Hall of Famer
- Suzanne Somers, actress
- Chung Eui-sun, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group