NCAA Tournament – First Round – Midwest Region
(8) Loyola Chicago (24-4, 16-2) vs. (9) Georgia Tech (17-8, 11-6)
- Time: 1 PST – 3 CST – 4 EST
- Place: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind.
- TV: TBS
The Ramblers are on fire right now as they have won 17 of their last 18 games in streaking to a Missouri Valley Conference regular season and tournament championship. The Ramblers are 97-35 over the last four years which encompasses the 2018 Final Four run.
Georgia Tech is hot itself as the Yellow Jackets have won eight in a row and they won the ACC Tournament last weekend. In finishing fourth in the ACC, the Jackets finished the highest of any Georgia Tech team since the 2004 National Runner-up.
The Yellow Jackets will be without ACC Player of the Year Moses Wright when they take the court on Friday afternoon as he has COVID-19 related issues. Wright is the third leading scorer in the ACC (17.4 ppg) and he is also four in the league with 8.0 rebounds per contest
Vs. The Spread
- The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the last 18 Ramblers games
- The OVER has been the play in 4 of the last 5 when the Ramblers play ACC competition
- The Ramblers are 12-4 SU in their last 16 games played in March
- The Yellow Jackets are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games
- Georgia Tech has hosted the OVER in 4 of the last 5 games
- The Jackets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games when they are the underdog
Last Time Out:
Loyola Chicago took a 75-65 victory over Drake in the Missouri Valley Championship game March 7 in St. Louis. Cameron Krutwig and Braden Norris led the Ramblers with 20 points each and were named to the MVC Championship all-tournament team.
Georgia Tech defeated No. 15 Florida State, 80-75, last Saturday for it’s fourth ACC Tournament championship. The Yellow Jackets were led by Michael Devoe’s 20 points while scoring 31 points off of 25 Seminoles turnovers.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Georgia Tech||+5½ (-105)||+200||O 124½ (-105)|
|Loyola Chicago||-5½ (-115)||-240||U 124½ (-115)|
Advantage, Loyola Chicago:
The Ramblers check in as the No. 1 team in the nation in defensive efficiency as they hold opponents to 55.5 points per game and 40.7 percent from the field. In fact, the 65 points that Drake scored in the MVC Championship game were the most that an opponent scored since Indiana State beat Loyola Chicago, 76-71, on Jan. 10. The Yellow Jackets’ offense has been on point virtually all season as they shoot 47.6 percent from the floor and average 75 points per game. Losing Moses Wright (17.4 ppg, 53.2%-FG) is a huge absence against this defense.
Key Ramblers Stat:
Big man Cameron Krutwig is a first-team all-MVC performer and will give the Yellow Jackets trouble n the paint with Wright out of the equation. Krutwig is the only Rambler who averages double figures at 15.0 points and he makes 57.9 percent of his shots. He also lead the Ramblers in rebounding with 6.7 and that rebounding stat will loom even larger with no Moses Wright. The Rambers are at a (+4.9) on the glass while the Jackets are (-3.6)
Coach Porter Moser gets lots of contributions from lots of places as six Ramblers average between 7.0 points and 8.2 points per game. Lucas Williamson, (8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg) the other hold over from the 2018 Final Four team, is second in scoring as he and Braden Norris accentuate at three-point game that has made 201 from the floor and is at 36.8 percent.
Holy Rambler: Sister Jean, the 101-year old chaplain for the Loyola Chicago basketball team who found fame with the 2018 Final Four run, is vaccinated and healthy and will be in the house when the Ramblers tip-off on Friday.
Advantage, Georgia Tech:
Again, no Moses Wright, and thin depth could cause Georgia Tech problems, but When you Look at Chicago Loyola, they also have seven players that play major minutes. The Jackets have the advantage in the back court with Jose Alvarado (15.2 ppg, 4.1 apg) on the point, Michael DeVoe and a combination of Khalid Moore and Bubba Parham. Alvarado figures in the top 10 in the ACC in seven statistical categories. Devoe comes off a big game in the ACC Tournament where he led GT with 20 points, three assists, and two steals.
Key Yellow Jackets Stat:
Jordan Usher can be the difference in this game with his 6-7, 220-pound frame. If coach Josh Pastner wants to go the small ball route, he can use Usher as a stretch-5 because he has made 34 threes. Usher has scored double figures in 17 games and has averaged 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in his last five games where he has made 31-of-60 field goals during that stretch.
Rodney Howard needs to be able to give Pastner minutes in the pivot with Wright out. Howard is a 6-10, 241-pound, center who averaged only 7.5 minutes in 18 games.
Winner: Loyola Chicago 68, Ga. Tech (+5.5) 64