CHICAGO – It’s been three years since they made their memorable run from an 11th seed to a Final Four, providing one of the NCAA Tournament’s best moments over the last decade.

Now in 2021, Loyola is creating their magic a little bit earlier this year, doing something they haven’t since the 1985 season.

Thanks to a 12-1 record to start their Missouri Valley Conference season, the Ramblers cracked into the AP Top 25 at No. 22 this past week. It’s the first time they’ve done so in the regular season since the 1985 season, when Loyola went all the way to the Sweet 16.

Yet celebrating this ranking wasn’t exactly something that Porter Moser’s team could do this weekend. That’s because their biggest regular season series to date is ahead this weekend, and it’s one that could go a long way to settling The Valley’s regular season champion.

Loyola will take on Drake on the road on Saturday and Sunday, with the Ramblers holding a slight lead over the Bulldogs (10-1) in the standings. Both teams are far and away the best in the MVC, with the nearest team – Missouri State – sitting four games back with an 8-5 record.

It’s been quite a month for the Ramblers who haven’t lost since their game against Indiana State on January 10th in Terre Haute. MVC Player of the Year candidate Cameron Krutwig is playing at his best his senior season as he’s averaging 15.5 point per game while also grabbing a team-high 6.1 rebounds per contest.

He’ll be tested along with the rest of Moser’s team in their biggest weekend of the year so far.