Get to know the nine Jesuit basketball teams heading to March Madness

Nine Jesuit varsity basketball teams packed their dancing shoes for March Madness!

Here’s a look at the teams, a key player to watch on each team, game information, and a fun fact about each of the seven universities represented this year. (Congratulations to Creighton and Gonzaga for sending both of their teams to the NCAA.)

And for more, check out this podcast on the history of Jesuit hoops with ESPN’s John Gasaway, author of “Miracle on the Hardwood.”

Creighton University Bluejays

Women: 10 seeds, Greensboro area

Game: vs. Colorado, Friday, March 18, 1:30 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNEWS)

Summary of the season: 20-9 (15-5 in the Great East)

Player to watch: Tatum Rembao. Fifth-year seniors are averaging 6.3 assists per game, a top ten nationally.

Tatum Rembao

Men: 9 seed, Midwest Region

Game: vs. San Diego State, Thursday, March 17, 7:27 p.m. ET (TV: truTV)

Summary of the season: 22-11 (12-7 in the Great East)

Player to watch: Ryan Hawkins. The 6’7” senior forward from Atlantic, Iowa, leads the Bluejays in points (13.9 points per game) and rebounds (7.8 rounds per game) this season.

Creighton University Fun Fact: University President Fr. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, has just published a book called “Jesuit Higher Education in a Secular Age.” Prof. Hendrickson shows how Jesuit colleges and universities can educate students toward greater self-awareness, a stronger sense of global solidarity, and a greater capacity for inspiration, awe, and gratitude.

Notable alumni:

  • Ron Hansen, novelist, essayist and teacher
  • Kyle Korver, former NBA player
  • Don Keough, former chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola

Fairfield University Deer

Women: 15 seeds, Spokane area

Game: vs. Texas, Friday, March 18, 8 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN2)

Summary of the season: 25-6 (19-1 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; conference champions)

Player to watch: Lou Lopez-Senechal. This French star (via a basketball academy in Ireland) averages 19.6 points per game and was unanimously voted 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.

Notable alumni:

  • Katherine Lapp, executive vice president of Harvard University
  • Bob Sullivan, journalist, author and founding member of
  • Peter Pronovost, critical care physician and MacArthur Fellow

Gonzaga University Bulldogs

Kaylynne Truong
Kaylynne Truong

Women: 9 seed, Wichita area

Game: vs. Nebraska, Friday, March 18, 3:30 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNEWS)

Summary of the season: 26-6 (15-2 in 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 real twin wizardry.

Men: 1 seed, West Region

Game: vs. Georgia State, Thursday, March 17, 4:15 p.m. ET (TV: TNT)

Summary of the season: 26-3 (13-1 in West Coast Conference; Conference Champions)

Player to watch: Chet Holmgren. The seven-foot freshman can do it all on the court and is the highest-ranked rookie to ever sign with the Zags. (We don’t want to jinx it, but the Bulldogs are the tournament’s top seed and are ready for a deep run.)

Gonzaga University Fun Fact: In the fall of 2021, the Gonzaga Family Haven opened, which includes 73 forever homes for homeless families. A partnership between Catholic Charities, the university and Gonzaga Prep, the Gonzaga Family Haven affordable housing community is integrated with comprehensive support services so families can stabilize their lives through on-site case management, events community and skills-building opportunities.

Notable alumni:

  • Joseph Caravalho Jr., physician, U.S. Army Major General, and former Joint Staff Surgeon
  • Catherine Cortez Masto, current United States Senator from Nevada
  • John Lo Schiavo SJ, former president of the University of San Francisco

Loyola University Chicago Ramblers

Men: 10 seeds, South Region

Game: vs. Ohio State, Friday, March 18, 12:15 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)

Summary of the season: 25-7 (13-5 Missouri Valley Conference; Conference Champions)

Player to watch: Lucas Williamson. The grad student is averaging 14 points and 5 rebounds per 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 conference this week on Climate Change at the Intersection of Climate Change, Human Health and Justice.

Notable alumni:

  • 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, Eastern Region

Game: vs. North Carolina, Thursday, March 17, 4:30 p.m. ET (TV: TBS)

Summary of the season: 19-12 (11-8 in the Great East)

Player to watch: Justin Lewis. The Big East’s most improved player and all-conference first-team member is averaging 17.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

justin lewis

Marquette University Fun Fact: The university has just announced the development of a comprehensive wellness and recreation center, which will bring together campus fitness and recreation facilities with the Counseling Center and University Medical Clinic – services focused on students who are now dispersed across campus.

Notable alumni:

  • Chris Farley, actor, comedian and “Saturday Night Live” cast member
  • Gail Collins, author and New York Times columnist
  • Jimmy Butler, NBA player

St. Peter’s University Peacocks

Men: 15 seeds, Eastern Region

Game: vs. Kentucky, Thursday, March 17, 7:10 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)

Summary of the season: 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 shots per game this season.

Fun fact about Saint-Pierre University: Saint-Pierre celebrates the 150and anniversary of its founding.

Notable alumni:

  • William Durant, American writer, historian and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • John Henning, award-winning television and radio journalist
  • Nicholas Cifarelli, physician, created the first American advisory committee on bioethics

University of San Francisco Donations

Men: 10 seeds, Eastern Region

Game: vs. Murray State, Thursday, March 17, 9:40 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)

Summary of the season: 24-9 (10-6 in the West Coast Conference)

Player to watch: Jamaree Bouyea. The 6’2” grad student point guard is as complete a player as they come. Just check out these season averages: 16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.8 steals.

Fun fact from the University of San Francisco: 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.

Notable alumni:

  • Bill Russell, former NBA player and coach and member of the Basketball Hall of Famer
  • Suzanne Somers, actress
  • Chung Eui-sun, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group