Oregon State Beavers at Loyola Chicago Ramblers – Sweet 16 March

NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16 – Midwest Region

(8) Loyola Chicago (26-4) vs (12) Oregon State (19-12)

  • Time: 11:40AM PST | 1:40PM CST | 2:40PM EST
  • Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
  • TV: TNT

Opening Tip

Cinderella is dancing in the Midwest region and those dancing shoes are fitting impeccably well for the Loyola Chicago Ramblers and the Oregon State Beavers.

The matchup is only the second in history between the two teams and then you have to go back nearly a century to the Roaring 20’s when the Ramblers rolled by the Beavers, 31-19. Loyola Chicago is 12-18 against Pac-12 competition.

Coach Porter Moser has led the Ramblers to 99 wins in the past four seasons as they are only one of 12 teams to post 99 wins in that period. Since those 99 wins are the most ever for the Ramblers in a four-year period, Cameron Krutwig and Lucas Williamson are the winningest players in Ramblers history over four years.

Coach Wayne Tinkle is continuing to build Oregon State and lead the Beavers out of the abyss as the program has only has two NCAA Tournament appearances since 1990. Amazingly, these are the Beavers’ first NCAA Tournament wins since 1982.

The Ramblers have won 23 of their last 25 games while Oregon State has won 9 of its last 11 games.

Vs. The Spread

Loyola Chicago:

  • The Ramblers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 14 of LU’s last 20 games
  • The Ramblers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing as a favorite

Oregon State:

  • The OVER has been the play in 7 of the last 8 Ramblers games
  • Oregon State is 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games this season
  • The Beavers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games in the role of the underdog

Last Time Out

Loyola Chicago dominated 1-seed Illinois from wire-to-wire behind 19 points 12 rebounds, five assists, and four steals from Cameron Krutwig. The Ramblers held the Fighting Illini to only four three-point field goals and they forced 17 turnovers/

Oregon State followed up its opening-round win over Tennessee with an 80-70 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys behind 26 points and seven assists from senior guard Ethan Thompson. The Beavers raced to a 44-30 halftime lead and held off two Cowboys’ runs in the second half.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Oregon State +6.5 (-105) +235 O 125.5 (-105)
Loyola Chicago -6.5 (-115) -280 U 125.5 (-115)

Advantage, Loyola Chicago

Loyola-Chicago Ramblers LogoDefensively, the Ramblers have been a riddle all season long, and generally, no one has been able to solve this. They are second in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency and they are also strong on the glass in posting a (+5.2) rebounding margin as opponents average only 55.8 points per game and shoot at a 41.3 percentage. Moser’s defensive system is solid as it has held opponents to a 44.6 percentage and only 28.8 percent from three in the Ramblers’ last seven NCAA Tournament games.

The highlight may have been holding Illinois to 58 points last week which is well below their 81.3 points per game this season.

Key Ramblers Stat:

Flip it over to the offensive side of the ball where you find the Ramblers a ninth in the nation in offensive field goal efficiency. Cameron Krutwig is the lone Rambler averaging in double figures and then the next six players are between 8.8 and 6.7 points per game. Krutwig is a master at deception in his game as he ball fakes well and goes opposite his initial action.

Defenses have to stay disciplined in waiting him out because he’s not athletic enough to consistently make plays if the defense doesn’t bite on his first move.

X-Factor:

The three-point game operates off of consistent spacing and Krutwig’s ability to draw the defense and keep it occupied. Braden Norris leads LU with 53 while Lucas Williamson makes 44 with Keith Clemons netting 39. Loyola Chicago has shot 47.4 percent or better from three in their last five games. Oregon State, meanwhile, holds opponents to 30.1 percent behind the three-point line and 30-of-119 (24.9 %) in the last five.

Advantage, Oregon State

Oregon State Beavers Logo 101x101When you look inside the numbers, the Beavers may be the hottest team in college basketball with who they have beaten since coach Wayne Tinkle had a long and productive meeting with the Beavs after the loss to Arizona State on Feb. 14. Senior point guard Ethan Thompson has been the ultimate leader all season and is averaging 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the Beavers’ two NCAA contests. Jarod Lucas (13.0 ppg, 39%-3) is a consistent shooting guard who has come up strong on the boards with six rebounds in three of the last four games.

LU will not have an answer for the athleticism of Warith Alatishe who averaged 14.0 points and 9.7 rebounds in the three-game run to the Pac-12 title. He and Roman Silva are tough to match up with in the post because of the differences in their games as Silva is a physically tough matchup at center.

Key Beavers Stat:

The Beavers’ offense has been at it’s best in the 19 wins as Oregon State averaged 75.2 points, 46.4 percent and 39.1 percent from three when they win. Getting in a rhythm against LU’s defensive scheme early will be a must as they quick starts have been the case in the last five wins.

X-Factor:

Maurice Calloo is a tough matchup as a 6-10 forward because he has made 32 threes and shot 41.6 percent from the floor. He averaged only 5.5 points per game up until last week and he averaged 10.5 points in the wins over Tennessee and Oklahoma State.

Winner: Oregon State (+6.5) 62, Loyola Chicago 58

The Bets
Oregon State +6.5
-115
Oregon State Beavers
+235
UNDER 125.5
-115
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.