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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — With two wins built on last-moment heroics and a 98-year-old nun turned international celebrity, Loyola-Chicago is the Cinderella of the Sweet 16, back making a run for a championship 55 years after winning the NCAA Tournament.

Its 1963 title run was also marked by captivating moments from a team that won while breaking through racial barriers by starting four African-American players. Mississippi State had to defy a court injunction to play the Ramblers in the regional semifinal, sneaking out of the state to play.

And the title game itself captured the madness of March — Loyola winning on a tip-in in overtime.

Here is the story from The Associated Press on the title game played March 23, 1963, as it appeared in the Aberdeen (South Dakota) Daily News.


Incredible Loyola of Chicago won the National Collegiate Basketball Championship Saturday night, dethroning two-time champion Cincinnati 60-58 on a tip-in by Vic Rouse with one second to go in an overtime.

In becoming the first at-large team to win an NCAA title in 13 years, George Ireland’s remarkable Ramblers overcame a 15-point second half deficit, caught the top-rated Bearcats at the wire on a jump shot by All-America Jerry Harkness, then scaled the heights of college basketball when the 6-foot-6 Rouse came up with a perfect follow to a 10-foot jump shot by Les Hunter.

Loyola, third-ranked nationally and playing in the NCAA for the first time, got the impetus it needed when Cincinnati decided to sit on a 15-point lead with 11 minutes, 45 seconds remaining.

The Bearcats of Ed Jucker, seeking an unprecedented third straight championship, slowed things down so much that they scored only two field goals in the last 14 minutes of regulation play. With Harkness steadily peppering away after a miserable first half, Loyola gradually cut into what looked like a safe lead.

Cincinnati, losing only its seventh game in 89 games played under Jucker in three years, still had a three-point lead at 53-50 with 45 seconds left in regulation time, and was two points ahead when little Larry Shingleton sank the first free throw on a one-and-one bonus situation with 12 seconds to go.

But Shingleton missed the second. The leaping Ramblers grabbed the rebound and Harkness flew down the court, let fly from the side about 10 feet from the basket and got Loyola even for the first time since the first 3 minutes of the game.

In the overtime, Harkness grabbed the ball on the tip-off and streaked in for an easy shot for a 56-54 Loyola lead. Cincinnati’s George Wilson tied it at 56-56 with a twisting, close-in shot. With 3 minutes left, Ron Miller’s 25-foot jump shot put Loyola two points ahead again.

Tom Thacker fed Shingleton a court-length pass against a Loyola pressing defense for a layup with 2:15 showing on the clock and it was 58-all.

Loyola, winding up with a 29-2 record, tried to control the ball for one final shot but Shingleton forced a jump ball against John Egan at 1:21 and it came down to which of the two 5-10 guys — the smallest men on a court of bounding, leaping kids — could control the tip.

It turned out to be Loyola, Miller grabbing the ball in a race with Tony Yates and the Ramblers stalled out until Hunter’s final shot and Rouse’s tremendous leap and tip-in.

Duke captured third place by whipping Oregon State 85-63 as Player of the Year Art Heyman closed out his Blue Devil career with 22 points and a brilliant floor game.

Heyman, a 6-foot-5, 205-pounder from Rockville Centre, N.Y., finished with a record Duke career total of 1,984 points.

Dick Groat, now shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals, scored 1,886 points for Duke in a career that ended in 1952.

Heyman, who didn’t have one of his better shooting nights, showed his versatility with some remarkable passing that set up Hank Tison, Jeff Mullins and Jay Buckley for easy baskets.

The Duke great also came up with the play of the ragged game, scoring an easy layup in the second half after bouncing the ball through an Oregon State defender’s legs and grabbing it on the other side without once breaking stride.


AP Director of Corporate Archives Valerie Komor contributed to this AP Was There.


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