NCAA Tournament: Loyola Chicago vs. Kansas State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, March 24
Game Time: 6:09 pm ET
Venue: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
All You Really Need To Know About Loyola Chicago
How much fun is this?
Northwestern was awful. Illinois was lousy. The Chicago Bulls are tanking – but not tanking, as far as you know. There is no basketball for Chicago fans – and no hockey, either – and then comes the feel-good story of the NCAA Tournament.
Okay, so it’s feel-good story No. 1B after UMBC’s shocking win over Virginia to open up the South Bracket. But after a 12-game winning streak, a Missouri Valley title to ensure a spot in the tournament, and with three straight amazing wins by a total of four points, the Ramblers – and Sister Jean – have come up with a magical run.
Against Nevada, they were able hold off every run, hit timely threes, and did everything right when they had to. There were 16 turnovers, but they hit 56% from the field and 5-of-13 from three.
Usually, they’re not all that great from three, and they usually not strong on the boards – they outrebounded the Wolf Pack 32-24. They don’t commit fouls, and this is one of the best defenses left in the tournament.
And they seemingly have a diving magic helping the cause, too.
All You Really Need To Know About Kansas State
Kansas State’s defense, toughness, and moxie have been enough to be one step away from the Final Four. They might have caught a break by not having to deal with No. 1 seed Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 3 Tennessee or No. 4 Arizona, but it’s all about surviving and advancing.
The Wildcats clamped down on UMBC in an offensively painful 50-43 win, and then overcame the absence of star Dean Wade, and with a whole slew of fouls, to survive Kentucky.
It helped that PJ Washington couldn’t buy a key free throw, but the defense held UK to 38% from the field, and the offense cranked it up with Xavier Sneed and Barry Brown carrying the team.
Especially without Wade – who only played for a few minutes against UK because of a foot injury – this has been a headstrong, tough-as-nails team that’s making the plays the other teams aren’t.
What’s Going To Happen
Kansas State is going to out-Loyola, Loyola.
Neither team is all that great on the boards, and both teams force plenty of mistakes. However, the Kansas State guards are playing out of their minds at the moment, they’ll clamp down from three, and they’ll come up with their share of steals.
It’ll be another nailbiter game that comes down to the wire, with the Wildcats moving on to the Final Four by slowing things down and hitting more free throws.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Kansas State 60, Loyola Chicago 57
Line: Kansas State -1.5, o/u: 126.5
ATS Confidence: 3
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle