Loyola Chicago (32-5) vs Michigan (32-7)
When: Saturday, March 31st 2018
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Time: 6:09 ET | TV: CBS
Opening Odds: Michigan -6.5/126
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers take the nation’s longest winning streak into the Final Four to take on an equally hot team in the third-seeded Michigan Wolverines on Saturday evening in San Antonio. Its been a historic run for the Rambler’s, who dominated No. 9 seed Kansas State in the Elite Eight after knocking off Miami (Fla.), Tennessee, and Nevada by a combined four points. Loyola is currently riding a 14-game winning streak and are 9-0 on neutral courts this season. The Wolverines, who have won 13 consecutive games – including 10 straight away from home – held off ninth-seeded Florida State 58-54 in the Elite 8 to set a new program record for wins in a season with 32 are seeking their second national championship appearance since 2013. Michigan’s defense has been getting it done this tournament and during its winning streak, holding opponents to 59 points per game during March Madness. The Wolverines most impressive victory in the tournament came in the Sweet 16, when they dominated Texas A&M 99-72 after the Aggies manhandled the defending champion North Carolina Tar Heels the game before. Michigan is 6-1 all-time in national semifinal contests and the winner will take on a No. 1 seed – either Villanova or Kansas on Monday night.
The Ramblers held K-State to just 34.8% shooting and were led offensively by Ben Richardson, who scored a career-high 23 points to go along with six rebounds. Loyola became just the fourth No. 11 seed in NCAA history to advance to the Final Four. Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, Clayton Custer, earned an honorable mention on the Associated Press All-America Team after averaging 13.2 points and 4.2 assists heading into Saturday’s game. This will be the fourth time Loyola Chicago has faced Michigan, losing two of the first three including an 84-80 loss in the 1964 NCAA Tournament.
Michigan has received plenty of accolades already in this tournament, including Charles Matthews, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the West Region after averaging 16.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in four games, including 17 points and eight boards in the win against Florida State. Moritz Wagner earned all-tournament team honors in the West Region and contributed 12 points, six rebounds and two steals despite going 0-for-7 from 3-point range against the Seminoles. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman recorded nine points against Florida State and also earned all-regional team honors after averaging 14 points and 4.3 rebounds over four games.
I don’t think people realize how good this Loyola team really is. They are much like the Butler teams a while back, where they are well coached and have been playing together for a long time. Michigan’s defense will give them a test, but this seems like a lot of points to give a team that has only lost five games all season. I don’t see the Wolverines blowing them out.
Pick: Loyola Chicago +5.5
- Ramblers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
- Ramblers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
- Ramblers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
- Ramblers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games.
- Ramblers are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Ramblers are 37-14 ATS in their last 51 games following a straight up win.
- Ramblers are 36-14-1 ATS in their last 51 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Ramblers are 47-19 ATS in their last 66 games following a ATS win.
- Ramblers are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
- Ramblers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten.
- Wolverines are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Wolverines are 13-3-2 ATS in their last 18 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Wolverines are 3-1-2 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games.
- Wolverines are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games.
- Wolverines are 8-3-2 ATS in their last 13 Saturday games.
- Wolverines are 18-7-2 ATS in their last 27 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Wolverines are 34-16-3 ATS in their last 53 games overall.
- Wolverines are 35-17-4 ATS in their last 56 neutral site games.
- Under is 8-1 in Ramblers last 9 overall.
- Under is 8-1 in Ramblers last 9 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 7-1 in Ramblers last 8 neutral site games.
- Under is 6-1 in Ramblers last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 5-1 in Ramblers last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 5-1 in Ramblers last 6 non-conference games.
- Under is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 non-conference games.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Wolverines last 6 NCAA Tournament games.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Wolverines last 5 overall.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Wolverines last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Wolverines last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Wolverines last 5 neutral site games.
- Over is 47-23-1 in Wolverines last 71 Saturday games.