The March 18 game between the No. 10-seeded Loyola Ramblers and the No. 7-seed Ohio State University will be the second March Madness appearance for Loyola redshirt junior guard Braden Norris, but this time he’ll be sharing the spotlight in his family.
Braden isn’t the only Norris in the tournament this year — his younger brother, Keaton Norris, is a first-year guard at No. 16-seeded Wright State University. The 2022 March Madness experience isn’t the only thing the brothers share — they both don the number four on their jerseys, as well.
“There’s no words for what’s happening within our family,” Norris said at a March 17 press conference. “I’m super proud, super happy for him to experience the NCAA Tournament, there’s no other feeling like it. I experienced this last year and I wanted that feeling for him.”
Keaton is set to continue on in the tournament after Wright State defeated No. 16-seeded Bryant University 93-82 in the First Four round March 16 in Dayton, Ohio — the brothers’ home state.
So far this season, Keaton has made eight starts for the Raiders and is averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. He logged a season-high 10 points against Cleveland State University March 7 on the way to capturing the Horizon League championship game with the team.
Braden also has a connection to the Horizon League — he played at Oakland University for his first year of collegiate play. While with the Golden Grizzlies, he made 30 starts and averaged 8.4 points per game to be named to the Horizon League All-Freshman team.
Two years after transferring, Braden is second on the Ramblers roster in scoring with an average of 10.3 points per game. He also leads Loyola in assists by contributing an average of 3.8 per game and was named to the All Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Third Team.
Keaton and the Raiders are slated to face No. 1-seeded University of Arizona March 18 in San Diego at 6:30 p.m CT, while Braden and the Ramblers will meet Ohio State in Pittsburgh at 11:15 a.m CT.
Because the brothers are playing more than 2,000 miles away from each other on the same day, Braden said his parents had to split up to support both of their sons in the Big Dance.
“I think it’s a good problem to have,” Norris said. “You know, two of your kids are playing in the NCAA Tournament, but my dad will be in San Diego and my mom will be [in Pittsburgh].”
While at Hilliard Bradley High School, Braden snagged all-district and all-state honors his junior year when the Jaguars won their conference championship. He graduated in spring 2018 as the program’s all-time leading scorer.
Two seasons later, Keaton led the same team to a 25-2 record as a junior by contributing an average of 11.5 points per game. He also shot 48% from beyond the arc and won the Ohio Capital-Cardinal (OCC) League championship with the Jaguars win in 2020.
Both of the Norris brothers were coached by their dad Brett Norris, who has been coaching the Jaguars for more than eight years.
The March 18 matchup against the Buckeyes has additional significance to
Braden as he said he grew up ten minutes away from the Ohio State campus in Columbus in Hilliard.
Even though he said he’s excited to play a team he grew up close to, Braden said his personal connection to the game won’t affect his mindset.
“It’s cool to play the hometown school, I grew up watching them all the time,” Braden said. “Like I’ve been saying, this game has nothing to do with me personally. I have no personal agenda, it’s about Loyola advancing to the round of 32.”