His team might be a decisive underdog, but don’t expect Loyola (Md.) coach Jimmy Patsos to play up to the Pittsburgh crowd for support when his team faces No. 2 seed Ohio State.
No. 15 seed Loyola, after all, is located in Baltimore, and Patsos can’t ignore the fact that the city’s football team isn’t welcomed in these parts.
Asked about coming to Pittsburgh for the NCAA Tournament, Patsos said, “What a great sports town, what a great building. Other than the fact the Steelers play here, I like it.”
Loyola, it seems, has gained a following in the Charm City.
“A lot of the Ravens, Steve Bisciotti, Jim Harbaugh, people like that are following this game,” Patsos said. “But everybody loves Pittsburgh, says what a great place it is.”
Loyola forward Erik Etherly, who hails from Alexandria, Va., is an unabashed Steelers fan despite playing in enemy territory.
“I was at the opening game when the Steelers played the Ravens,” he said. “I took a lot of heat for it, but I wore (Steelers gear) at the stadium.”
— By Joe Rutter