103-year-old Sister Jean makes her pick for Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament winner

Sister Jean makes her pick for NCAA Tournament winner
from Colum Dell, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, chaplain of the Loyola Chicago men’s basketball team (9-19, 3-13), probably won’t attend this year’s tournament since the Ramblers are unlikely to qualify. Nevertheless, she offers her prediction of the winner.

The 103-year-old sat down with ABC’s Will Reeve to promote her memoir, “Wake Up With Purpose! What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years,” featured on “Good Morning America.” Sister Jean’s book ranges from her experience teaching during World War II to her rise to fame during Loyola Chicago’s 2018 Final Four run.

Following an in-depth discussion of her life’s purpose, Reeve asked Sister Jean which school she believes will cut down the nets in Houston.

“Right now, it looks to me as though Kentucky will,” Sister Jean revealed.

No. 23 Kentucky (20-9, 11-5) is a surprising pick, but the team is gaining momentum at the right time.

Despite ranking No. 4 in the preseason poll, the Wildcats fell out of the top 25 in January. Kentucky snapped its seven-week AP Top 25 drought on Monday after a 32-point victory over Auburn. The Wildcats’ winning streak now stands at four games.

Considering a trend for past national champions, KenPom’s ratings suggest the Wildcats might have trouble in the tournament. Ken Pomeroy’s rating system accounts for several advanced statistics, including efficiency, tempo, strength of schedule and luck.

Since Pomeroy released his first model in 2002, 19 of 20 national champions have ranked in the top 25 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. The 2014 UConn Huskies were the lone exception, finishing 39th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

This season, Kentucky is 13th in adjusted offense (118.7) and 77th in adjusted defense (100.3), potentially making Sister Jean’s pick a long shot to win the tournament. Teams with current ratings that follow the KenPom trend are Houston, UCLA, Kansas, Alabama, Purdue and Connecticut.