NCAA Tournament Second Round: (1) Illinois (24-6) vs (8) Loyola (25-4) prediction and college basketball game preview.
Illinois vs Loyola Broadcast
Date: Sunday, March 21
Game Time: 12:10 pm
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Illinois vs Loyola Game Preview
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Why Loyola Will Win
Controlled, measured, and never panicking, Loyola kept hitting the shots it needed to against a Georgia Tech team without top player Moses Wright, it was terrific from three, and it didn’t do anything crazy to come up with a 71-60 win.
The Ramblers don’t beat themselves.
They lead the nation in scoring defense by never letting a guy stay open for more than a heartbeat, they take the right shots and don’t have a whole lot of wasted possessions, and they attack well enough to give the Illinois backcourt problems.
For all of the great things Illinois does, it’ll turn the ball over and it’ll commit a whole lot of fouls. But …
Why Illinois Will Win
The Illini didn’t have any issues with fouls or turnovers against Drexel in a dominant performance.
It’s a complete team with the talent inside and out to win the national title, and while Ayo Dosunmu might be the star, Kofi Cockburn is the issue – Loyola doesn’t have an answer for the inside presence the Illini will bring.
Illinois can’t get frustrated. Loyola will come up with more than its share of defensive stops, but the Illini will dominate on the boards, it’ll move the ball around well enough to get the open shots – they’re amazing at coming up with assists with 19 against Drexel – and they should be able to whip it around enough to at least make the Ramblers work a little harder.
If all that fails, they’ll either let Dosunmu create his own shot, or they’ll kick it into Cockburn.
What’s Going To Happen
The Ramblers will need everyone and Sister Jean to hit the boards really, really hard, but that won’t be enough.
Loyola will fight the good fight, and it’ll be strong enough to frustrate the Illini and hang around deep into the second half, but the Illini will pull away late.
Don’t blow off just how important the absence of Wright was for Georgia Tech in Loyola win, and don’t discount just how big this is for Illinois beyond just moving on into the Sweet 16.
Loyola is 0-3 this year when allowing 70 points or more and 25-1 when it doesn’t. Illinois has scored fewer than 70 just four times.
Illinois vs Loyola Prediction, Line
Illinois 76, Loyola 67
Bet on college basketball with BetMGM
Line: Illinois -7, o/u: 133.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 4
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1: Jayson Tatum’s turkey sub