Alexa Sandler | The DePaulia
After seven years of not playing each other, DePaul and Loyola-Chicago will finally meet each other again during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. Both schools announced on Thursday that they agreed to a two-season agreement, with the first game coming at Wintrust Arena on Dec. 13 followed by a return trip to Gentile Arena on Dec. 12, 2021.
The two programs last played each other at Allstate Arena on Dec. 29, 2012, with the Ramblers winning 69-61 and snapping an 11-game losing streak to the Blue Demons. DePaul leads the all-time series 38-18, with the 56 games against Loyola marking the sixth-longest series in program history.
“As part of our scheduling philosophy we annually try to play multiple local teams and we’re glad to add Loyola to our schedule,” DePaul head coach Dave Leitao said in a statement. “Chicago basketball fans enjoy games between the local programs and we’re looking forward to our game at Wintrust Arena next season and then at Loyola the following season.”
The Blue Demons are coming off a season where they went 12-1 during the non-conference portion of their schedule, but going 3-15 in the Big East and finishing in last place for the fourth straight season. DePaul did win its first round Big East Tournament game over Xavier March 11, and was slated to face Villanova in the quarterfinals the next night, but the rest of the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Loyola, on the other hand, went overall 21-11 and 13-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference, but the Ramblers lost their first game in their conference tournament. Two years ago, Loyola made the NCAA Tournament and made a run to the Final Four before losing to Michigan.
Head coach Porter Moser has been leading the Ramblers’ program since the 2011-12 season, and has recorded five winning seasons in the last six years.
“I’m really excited to get this series started up again,” Moser said in a statement. “Having grown up in Chicago, I know how much this rivalry means, especially to the passionate college basketball fans in this great city. Loyola and DePaul have had an historic rivalry, especially in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, so to be able to rekindle that is great for college basketball.”
With the addition of Loyola to the 2020-21 non-conference schedule, DePaul also has a confirmed game against Northwestern at the Welsh-Ryan Arena on Dec. 19, 2020. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports also reported that the Blue Demons will participate in the Las Vegas Invitational and will face Iowa State in the Big East-Big 12 challenge.