“I definitely thought we were misplaced,” said Sister Jean, dressed in her letter jacket with small maroon and gold balloons that adorned her wrist from her seat halfway across the arena. “Sometimes when the committee makes decisions, sometimes it’s heart, sometimes it’s head, sometimes it’s numbers, sometimes it’s – I hate to say the last word – it’s politics.”
The good sister, now 101 years old and fully vaccinated, showed the same kind of resilience as the players. She reached an agreement with the university last week to travel to Indianapolis, with the biblical parable of an old woman in the Gospel of Luke, asking a judge to grant her wishes until he finally concedes and says: Let her do what she wants. ”
Sister Jean, in her role as chaplain, addressed the team Sunday morning as always before. This year, however, it was by video conference. Her message contains a reconnaissance report – that the Illini make only half of their shots near the edge and a third of them from the 3-point line. All those rebounds would be an opportunity, so grab it.
Were her reconnaissance reports always so predictable?
“Not always,” she admits. ‘But I’m studying the box. I told them to no. 1, no. 11 and no. 21 to watch. ”
She added: “Porter and I are always on the same page without talking to each other, and he does not care if I say that.”
Moser, whose team entered the tournament with the best defense in the country, conjured up a masterful game plan and his players executed it perfectly. Their targets were the two stars of the Illini: the dynamic guard Ayo Dosunmu and the positive center Kofi Cockburn, one an American from the first team, the other a second team. (No. 11 and No. 21 in Sister Jean’s book.)