At the Northwestern Invitational in downtown Chicago, Loyola faced some familiar opponents en route to two Top Five placements. 495 went 6-2, tying for 1st place, and earned the 3rd place trophy after the tiebreaker. 494 went 5-2-1 to finish close behind in 4th. 495 began the tournament by challenging Macalester, and the team took both ballots in the first round by 9 and 3 points. In round two, 495 went up against Bellarmine - the first time the A team has faced Bellarmine since the 2011 National Championship. This time Bellarmine got the best of Loyola, winning two ballots by 1 point and 4 points. Round three put up 495 against our friends from UIC, and Loyola snatched both ballots by 7 and 11 points. In round four against Northwestern, 495 took one ballot by 9 points and squeaked by with a 1 point victory on the other.
494 challenged Bellarmine's B team to begin the tournament, and they earned a +6, -3 split. In round two, 494 also took two ballots from Macalester, winning by 3 and 7 points. In round three against Northwestern, 494 crushed both ballots, winning by 14 and 19 points. Round four was the only round in which 494 didn't win a ballot, coming out on the wrong end of a tie and -2 result against another Northwestern team.
Outside of Chicago, 496 made the annual trek to Ada, Ohio, for the Polar Bear Invitational. The tournament started well, with the team taking two ballots from Michigan, +2 and +4. Unfortunately, that's where the good news ended for 496. Facing the other Michigan team in round two, they dropped both ballots by 5 and 19. Similar losses to Indiana (-10, -6) and Ohio State (-1, -6), left their record at 2-6.
With regionals just a few weeks away, the teams are now making their final preparations to begin the postseason!