The 2021 NCAA Tournament Field is ready and March Madness is about to kick in, but there’s still time to fill in the hooks. As fantasy players look to fill hooks for office pools and support challenges, they will continue to examine each region for sleepers and stats that can help differentiate their choices.
Typically, the thorn on the side of many during bracket season are those tricky 9-seed versus 8-seed showdowns. They’re often a draw and since the winner almost always faces a No.1 seed, many don’t think much about these games. But often they end up being the only decision that can make or break a shot with perfect support early on.
Loyola Chicago and Georgia Tech face off in what appears to be the most lopsided 9-8 game this year. The 8-seeded Ramblers (24-4, 16-2 MVC) appear to be a bit under-seeded and their record could make them an attractive target for sleepers this year – if their smaller-named conference doesn’t scare you off. .
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets (17-8, 11-6 ACC) are on a tear and have just won a surprising ACC tournament title, but will they be able to solve their enemies from a smaller conference?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Loyola Chicago v Georgia Tech game, including standings, key players, season breakdowns and more:
EXPERT SUPPORT PICKS:
DeCourcy (Gonzaga) | Bender (Illinois) | Fagan (Gonzaga) | Lutovsky (Baylor)
Loyola Chicago vs Georgia Tech odds
Loyala Chicago vs. Georgia Tech is set to be Game 7 played in the March Madness First Round and it will be Game 1 of 9-8 during the NCAA Tournament. By DraftKings Sportsbook, Loyola Chicago is currently the small favorite. Below are their game details, including betting odds, time, TV, and location.
- Chances: Loyola Chicago (-2.5)
- Dated: Friday March 19
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: TBS
- Arena: Hinkle Fieldhouse
Loyola Chicago (24-4, 16-2 Missouri Valley Conference)
Loyola Chicago doesn’t exactly have a rich history on the basketball court, as they’ve only appeared in the NCAA tournament seven times in the program’s history, including 2021. More than half of those appearances have had took place in the 1960s.
However, the team has one of Cinderella’s most memorable runs until the Final Four. They won March Madness as the MVC winner in 2018, and the 11-seeded Ramblers upended Miami, Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas State before finally falling to the No. ° 3 Michigan Wolverines. During this run, the team’s chaplain, Sister Jean, achieved cult status and established herself as the unofficial mascot of the Ramblers.
This year, the Ramblers have had a terrific season and were placed 17th overall in the tournament. They relied on their excellent defense to win them games throughout the year. They have just four losses in the year and two of them have come in tournament-related teams, the Wisconsin Badger and Drake Bulldogs, and have won 17 of their last 18 games of the season. The only loss to Drake was a single point in overtime.
The Ramblers have won their three double-digit MVC games and as they landed a No.8 seed as a Bill Bender of Sporting News predicted they would, the team could easily have been rated higher thanks to its NET Top 10 ranking.
- NET Ranking: ten
- KenPom Ranking: 9
- Record Quad 1: 2-2
- Record Quad 2: 4-2
- Record Quad 3: 4-0
- Record Quad 4: 12-0
- Offensive efficiency ranking: 49th
- Defensive efficiency: 1st
Cameron Krutwig (6-9, 255-pound senior center)
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 forward)
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
DISTRIBUTION OF REGIONS:
WHERE IS | IS | SOUTH | MIDWEST
Georgia Tech (17-8, 11-6 ACC)
Georgia Tech has made it to the NCAA tournament 16 times since expanding to 64 teams and was a finalist in 2004. It was the last time they made it to the Final Four, but coach Josh Pastner is looking to change. that.
The Yellow Jackets haven’t got off to a good start this season. They were only 10-8 more than at the halfway point of the year and they lost their first two games against Georgia State in a quadruple overtime game and Mercer. But at the end of the year, Georgia Tech stepped up the intensity. ACC Defensive Player of the Year Jose Alvarado contributed to a seven-game winning streak that culminated in an ACC tournament victory over the Florida State Seminoles.
Georgia Tech has bad losses on their schedule as previously mentioned, but they have beaten Virginia Tech once and Florida State in two of their three games. They lost once to the Seminoles and also lost two games to Virginia, so their record against the Ranked Teams of the Year was mixed. The hot stretch of the end of the year and the ACC tournament title are what finally brought them to March Madness.
- NET Ranking: 33
- KenPom Ranking: 32
- Record Quad 1: 3-6
- Record Quad 2: 6-0
- Record Quad 3: 5-2
- Record Quad 4: 3-0
- Offensive efficiency ranking: 27th
- Defensive efficiency: 52nd
Moses Wright (6-9, 233-pound senior forward)
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 (junior guard 6-5, 197 pounds)
15.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg
Jordan Usher (senior guard 6-7, 213 pounds)
11.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.8 apg
Bubba Parham (5-10, senior guard 162 pounds)
6.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg
SUPPORT TIPS: KenPom | Play the odds | Idiot’s Guide
Loyola Chicago vs Georgia Tech prediction
This game has the potential to be a defensive fight. Although Georgia Tech has a solid offense, Loyola Chicago has allowed just 55.8 points per game this season. This is the highest rating in the NCAA.
The Ramblers have good size and defensive versatility, so they should have a chance to slow down the Yellow Jackets’ offense. Georgia Tech has four players who average at least 11.5 points per game, but in their seven non-quadruple losses in overtime, the team is averaging just 63.3 points per game. So they can be slowed down.
If Georgia Tech is to win this game, they’ll have to shoot well at long distance. They have four regularly rotating players who shoot at least 36.4% from the field, so if they can’t consistently break through the Ramblers’ defense, they’ll need to hit long balls to maximize their point production.
As for Loyola, they have the upper hand on this one. If they just play strong defense and stay effective on the attacking side of the pitch, they will have a chance to win. They have the third-best NCAA field goal percentage at 50.5 percent, behind only Gonzaga and Stephen F. Austin, so they should have a good chance of putting pressure on the Yellow Jackets early on.
History of 8v9 games in the NCAA tournament
In truth, throughout the history of the NCAA tournament, the seeded 9 and 8 game has been relatively consistent. It’s the biggest draw on any medium, and it’s the only one of the typical first round clashes where the underdog has an advantage over the top ranked team. Seeds # 9 have a slight advantage of 72-68.
If you look at recent history, the No.8 seed has had a slight edge lately. They posted a 24-20 record in the last 11 NCAA tournaments, but it’s worth noting that the No.9 seeds won all 9-8 games last year.
What does that mean? There is not much to learn from the trends. What matters most here is the game and in this case Loyola Chicago seems to have a huge advantage.
Below is a list of the victories 9 Seeds have achieved out of 8 Seeds in the last 10 tournaments:
|2019||UCF 73, VCU 58|
|Baylor 78, Syracuse 69|
|Oklahoma 95, Ole Miss 72|
|Washington 78, State of Utah 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, State of North Carolina 72|
|Wichita State 73, Pittsburgh 55|
|2012||Saint-Louis 61, Memphis 54|
|2011||Illinois 73, UNLV 62|
|2010||Wake Forest 81, Texas 80|
|Northern Iowa 69, UNLV 66|
|2009||Siena 74, State of Ohio 72|
|Texas A&M 79, BYU 66|