Loyola Chicago or Georgia Tech? Picking Illinois’ likely Round 2 opponent in 2021 March Madness bracket

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The 2021 NCAA Tournament field is ready and March Madness is nearly prepared to tip off, however there may be nonetheless time for brackets to be stuffed out. As fantasy gamers look to fill out brackets for workplace swimming pools and bracket challenges, they are going to proceed to look at each area to search for sleepers and stats that may assist differentiate their picks.

Typically, the thorn in the aspect of many throughout bracket season are these tough 9-seed vs. 8-seed matchups. They are sometimes a coin flip and because the winner practically all the time goes on to face a No. 1 seed, many do not assume a lot of those video games. But typically, they find yourself being the one determination that may make or break a shot at an ideal bracket in the early phases.

Loyola Chicago and Georgia Tech are squaring off in what seems to be essentially the most lopsided 9-8 matchup this yr. The 8-seed Ramblers (24-4, 16-2 MVC) look like a bit underseeded and their monitor report may make them an interesting sleeper goal this yr — if their smaller-name convention would not scare you away.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets (17-8, 11-6 ACC) are on a tear and are contemporary off a shocking ACC Tournament title, however will they be capable to clear up their foes from a smaller convention?

Here’s every thing it’s essential to know concerning the matchup between Loyola Chicago and Georgia Tech, together with rankings, key gamers, season breakdowns and extra:

DeCourcy (Gonzaga) | Bender (Illinois) | Fagan (Gonzaga) | Lutovsky (Baylor)

Loyola Chicago vs. Georgia Tech odds

Loyala Chicago vs. Georgia Tech is scheduled to be the seventh recreation performed in the primary spherical of March Madness and it is going to be the primary 9-8 matchup to happen in the course of the NCAA Tournament. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Loyola Chicago is at present the slight favourite. Below are the main points of their recreation, together with the betting odds, time, TV and venue.

  • Odds: Loyola Chicago (-2.5)
  • Date: Friday, March 19
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS
  • Arena: Hinkle Fieldhouse

Loyola Chicago (24-4, 16-2 Missouri Valley Conference)

Loyola Chicago would not precisely have a wealthy historical past on the basketball courtroom, as they’ve solely made the NCAA Tournament seven instances in program historical past together with 2021. More than half of these appearances got here in the Nineteen Sixties.

However, the group does have probably the most memorable Cinderella runs to the Final Four. They made March Madness because the MVC winner in 2018, and the 11-seeded Ramblers upset Miami, Tennessee, Nevada, and Kansas State earlier than in the end falling to the No. 3 seed Michigan Wolverines. During that run, group chaplain Sister Jean achieved cult standing and cemented herself because the unofficial mascot of the Ramblers.

This yr, the Ramblers have put forth a terrific season and have been ranked No. 17 general headings into the event. They have relied on their wonderful protection to win them video games all year long. They have simply 4 losses on the yr and two of them got here to tournament-bound groups, the Wisconsin Badger and Drake Bulldogs., and received 17 of their final 18 video games of the season. The solely loss in opposition to Drake was by a single level in time beyond regulation.

The Ramblers received all three of their MVC video games by double digits and whereas they landed a No. 8 seed as Sporting News’ Bill Bender projected they’d, the group simply may’ve been rated increased because of their top-10 NET rating.

  • NET rating: 10
  • KenPom rating: 9
  • Quad 1 report: 2-2
  • Quad 2 report: 4-2
  • Quad 3 report: 4-0
  • Quad 4 report: 12-0
  • Offensive effectivity rating: forty ninth
  • Defensive effectivity: 1st

Key gamers

Cameron Krutwig (6-9, 255-pound senior middle)
15.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.0 apg

Lucas Williamson (6-4, 205-pound senior guard)
8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 apg

Braden Norris (6-0, 180-pound sophomore guard)
8.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.9 apg

Aher Uguak (6-7, 225-pound senior ahead)
7.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.3 apg

Keith Clemons (6-1, 180-pound senior guard)
7.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg

WEST | EAST | SOUTH | (*2*)

Georgia Tech (17-8, 11-6 ACC)

Georgia Tech has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 16 instances because the enlargement to 64 groups and was the runner-up in 2004. That was the final time that they made it to the Final Four, however coach Josh Pastner is trying to change that.

The Yellow Jackets did not get off to a great begin this season. They have been simply 10-8 greater than halfway via the yr and so they misplaced the primary two contests they performed to Georgia State, in a quadruple-overtime recreation, and Mercer. But on the finish of the yr, Georgia Tech turned up the depth. ACC Defensive Player of the Year Jose Alvarado helped key a seven-game profitable streak that culminated with an ACC Tournament win over the Florida State Seminoles.

Georgia Tech has some unhealthy losses on their schedule as beforehand talked about, however they did beat Virginia Tech as soon as and Florida State in two of their three conferences. They did lose as soon as to the Seminoles and in addition dropped two video games in opposition to Virginia, so their report in opposition to ranked groups on the yr was blended. The sizzling stretch on the finish of the yr and ACC Tournament title is what in the end acquired them into March Madness. 

  • NET rating: 33
  • KenPom rating: 32
  • Quad 1 report: 3-6
  • Quad 2 report: 6-0
  • Quad 3 report: 5-2
  • Quad 4 report: 3-0
  • Offensive effectivity rating: twenty seventh
  • Defensive effectivity: 52nd

Key gamers

Moses Wright (6-9, 233-pound senior ahead)
17.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.3 apg

Jose Alvarado (6-0, 179-pound senior guard)
15.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.1 apg

Michael Devoe (6-5, 197-pound junior guard)
15.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg

Jordan Usher (6-7, 213-pound senior guard)
11.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.8 apg

Bubba Parham (5-10, 162-pound senior guard)
6.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg

BRACKET TIPS: KenPom | Play the odds | Idiot’s guide

Loyola Chicago vs. Georgia Tech prediction

This recreation has the potential to be a defensive wrestle. Though Georgia Tech has strong offense, Loyola Chicago has allowed simply 55.8 factors per recreation this season. That is the most effective mark in the NCAA.

The Ramblers have good measurement and defensive versatility, so they need to have an opportunity to decelerate the Yellow Jackets offense. Georgia Tech has 4 gamers that common at the least 11.5 factors per recreation, however in their seven non-quadruple-overtime losses, the group has averaged simply 63.3 factors per recreation. So, they are often slowed down.

If Georgia Tech desires to win this recreation, they’ll must shoot effectively from long-distance. They have 4 common rotation gamers that shoot at the least 36.4 p.c from the sphere, so if they can not persistently break down the Ramblers protection, they’ll must hit some lengthy balls to maximise their level manufacturing.

As for Loyola, they’ve the higher hand in this one. If they simply play sturdy protection and keep environment friendly on the offensive finish of the ground, they’re going to have an opportunity to win. They have the third-best subject objective share in the NCAA at 50.5 p.c, behind solely Gonzaga and Stephen F. Austin, so they need to have a great likelihood to place the strain on the Yellow Jackets early.

History of 8 vs. 9 matchups in NCAA Tournament

In reality, all through the historical past of the NCAA Tournament, the 9 and eight seed matchup has been comparatively even. It’s the most important coin-flip on any bracket, and it is the one one of many typical first-round matchups the place the underdog has a bonus over the higher-seeded group. The No. 9 seeds maintain a slight fringe of 72-68.

If you are taking a look at current historical past, the No. 8 seed has held a slight fringe of late. They have posted a 24-20 report over the past 11 NCAA Tournaments, however it’s price noting that No. 9 seeds received all of the 9-8 matchups final yr.

So, what does this imply? There is not a lot to be discovered from the tendencies. What issues most right here is the matchup and in this case, Loyola Chicago seems to have a sizeable benefit.

Below is a breakdown of the wins 9 seeds have loved over 8 seeds the final 10 tournaments:

Year Result
2019 UCF 73, VCU 58
  Baylor 78, Syracuse 69
  Oklahoma 95, Ole Miss 72
  Washington 78, Utah State 61
2018 Alabama 86, Virginia Tech 83
  Kansas State 69, Creighton 59
  Florida State 67, Missouri 54
2017 Michigan State 78, Miami 58
2016 Butler 71, Texas Tech 61
  Providence 70, USC 69
  Uconn 74, Colorado 67
2014 Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48
2013 Temple 76, NC State 72
  Wichita State 73, Pittsburgh 55
2012 St. Louis 61, Memphis 54
2011 Illinois 73, UNLV 62
2010 Wake Forest 81, Texas 80
  Northern Iowa 69, UNLV 66
2009 Siena 74, Ohio State 72
  Texas A&M 79, BYU 66

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