The winner heads to San Antonio for the 2018 NCAA Final Four. The first of two games on Thursday night from Atlanta, the Loyola Ramblers will take on the Kansas State Wildcats. This is the first ever Elite 8 game between the 11th seed and the 9th seed. The winner will take on the winner of the Florida State and Michigan game that will take place Saturday night in Los Angeles.
The Kansas State Wildcats are 25-11 on the season with tournament wins over Creighton, UMBC and Kentucky. In those three wins, the Wildcats allowed opponents to score just 54 points per game. The Wildcats finished fourth in the Big 12 tournament, and lost to Kansas in the Semi-Finals of the Big 12 tournament.
The Loyola Ramblers are 31-5 on the season. Porter Moser’s team has won games over Miami, Tennessee and Nevada. Those three wins came by a total of 4 points. The Ramblers won the regular season and conference tournament out of the Missouri Valley Conference. Loyola and Kansas State are a pick’em on Saturday.
Kansas State Wildcats
Bruce Weber and his Kansas State Wildcats have been defensive all throughout the season. During the regular season, the Wildcats ranked 42nd, allowing just 66 points per game. The Wildcats have not allowed a team to score more than 60 points per game so far in the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats are without Dean Wade, their top scorer. He tried to play in the win over Kentucky, but was unable to finish. The Wildcats will look to Barry Brown and Xavier Sneed to get the scoring going. Those two combined for 27 points per game during the regular season. Kansas State is seeking their 5th Final Four.
The Loyola Ramblers have just five losses this season, with their first one coming at Boise State. The Ramblers have not lost since Mid February to the Bradley Braves. The Ramblers are led by Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Clayton Custer. Custer is scoring 13.4 points per game.
The Ramblers on the season are scoring 71.8 points per game, and allowing teams to score 62.4 per game. The Ramblers are one of the most unselfish basketball teams, with 15.9 assists per game. Rebounding has been an issue for the Ramblers this season, as they are one of the worst, at 327th.
Battle in Atlanta
The Loyola Ramblers have been a great defensive team that takes care of the basketball, and takes good shots. The Ramblers are not going to play in a run and gun style basketball game. The Ramblers beat Florida in the regular season, and have lost just five games all season.
The Kansas State Wildcats are very similar. They are not a great offensively skilled basketball team. But the Wildcats defense is really good, and they play with great toughness. This is going to be what they call a rock fight. Look for the battle tested Kansas State Wildcats to get the job done and head on to the Final Four. Bet the Kansas State Wildcats in a pick’em over the Loyola Ramblers. Bet on the Kansas State Wildcats at MyBookie.