Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers (31-5 SU 22-9-1 ATS) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (25-11 SU 16-17 ATS)
DATE: 6:09 PM ET Saturday March 25 on TBS
What a tournament. There have been upsets galore in the Big Dance and according to ESPN only 349 out of 17,304,320 brackets correctly picked Loyola, Kansas State, Florida State, and Michigan to advance to the Elite 8. Loyola is the 11th seed in the South Region and they have beaten three higher seeds to get to the Elite 8. The Ramblers have been playing good defense in the tournament and that is their calling card ranking 5th in the nation in points allowed while only ranking 229th in ppg.
Kansas State messed up a lot of people’s bracket with their win over Kentucky in their last game. What is even more impressive about the Wildcats run to the Elite 8 as the 9th seed is that they were without leading scorer for the season Dean Wade (16.5 ppg) for the first two games and in the win over Kentucky in their last game he only went for four points. Like Loyola, Kansas State is a team led by their defense ranking 46th in the nation in points allowed while only ranking 242nd in ppg.
In their games held at a neutral site this season Loyola is a perfect 8-0 and Kansas State is 5-3.
|Loyola||+1 1/2 (-105.26)||+105||127 (-105.26)O|
|Kansas State||-1 1/2 (-114.94)||-125||127 (-114.94)U|
Betting trends – Ramblers v Wildcats
Loyola is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
Loyola is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games held at a neutral site.
Loyola has an Under record of 19-7 in their last 26 games.
In their last Big Dance game Loyola beat 7th seed Nevada 69-68 and while they had 16 turnovers they shot 55.8% from the floor and held the Wolfpack to 41.4% shooting. Marques Townes led the Ramblers with 18 points and Clayton Custer and reserve Aundre Jackson each chimed in for 15 points apiece. While Loyola is not a high scoring team they do have balance with five players averaging in double figures on the season led by Custer (13.3 ppg). Donte Ingram ranks 2nd on the team averaging 11.5 ppg and he has only totaled eight points in the last two games and only had two in the win over Nevada.
Kansas State is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 non-conference games
Kansas State is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games.
Kansas State has an Under record of 4-1 in their last 5 games.
Kansas State beat 5th seed Kentucky in their last game and while they did not have a good shooting game (35.2%) they held UK to 38.1% shooting and forced 15 turnovers. They also shot the long ball better with a 3-pt FG% of 40.9% while Kentucky only shot 25% from deep. Xavier Sneed led Kansas State with 22 points and Barry Brown, who ranks 2nd on the team in scoring on the season at 16.1 ppg) had 13 points on only 4/15 shooting and they were the only two players for the team that scored in double figures. Wade only played eight minutes in the game coming back from injury and like three other Big Dance games other players will have to step up if his scoring is not there.
Prediction and final word
Both teams have played great defense in their first three games in the tournament and Kansas State has held all three of their opponents to under 39% shooting. However, the Ramblers are rambling winners of 12 in a row. They will pull off yet another upset and they will not only win, but cover the spread at Bovada advancing to the Final 4.
BET TO PLACE: Bet on Loyola to cover the +1 1/2 spread, paying -105.26 at 5Dimes.
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