Lawrence basketball player pulling for high school teammate in Final Four

Lawrence freshman Mason Materna cheers on former teammate Cameron Krutwig in Final Four (Photo Courtesy: Mason Materna).

APPLETON (WLUK) -- It's a bandwagon most of America would like to be on.

Lawrence's Mason Materna feels like he's right there with the Ramblers and his high school teammate Cameron Krutwig.

"Any time one of Cam's games is on and I'm not doing anything I'm definitely watching it," said Materna. "Even sometimes when I'm studying I'll have it on in the corner and try not to stare at it too long, stuff like that. Anytime I'm able to watch I always try to."

Krutwig was named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the year. That accolade doesn't surprise Materna.

"Cam's the best player I ever played with," said Materna who played with Krutwig at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Illinois. "Honestly, there's just something about his game that other kids don't have. Even the top recruits can't play like him so I can definitely see him making it to this stage and I'm glad he did."

Materna is picking the 11-seed Ramblers to pull off another upset over 3-seed Michigan in Saturday's Final Four matchup. He's doing everything he can from Appleton to help his buddy out.

"I'm not really one of those superstitious guys, but through the whole tournament run I've been wearing the same pair of sweatpants and they haven't lost yet," he said. "So those are definitely going to be on and we have some guys here that are from Illinois and they've all jumped on the Rambler wagon."

This week ESPN featured Krutwig and Materna in one of its articles, but it wasn't about basketball -- it was about the Christmas cover band they formed with some high school friends called the Six Cheersmen.

"I never even thought people from our school would hear it," said Materna. "Whoever thought that six guys in a basement making funny Christmas songs would make it on ESPN?"

Materna doesn't know how his former teammate and current band member Krutwig will get it done, but he believes Loyola-Chicago will once again find a way to win.

"Can't tell you the margin, but they're going to get it somehow," he said. "Championship's going to be tougher, but I have all the faith in them."

Loyola University-Chicago plays Michigan Saturday at 5:00 P.M.

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