From the American Airlines Center in Dallas – the Loyola Ramblers will take on the Miami Hurricanes. This is a battle between the 6 seeded Hurricanes and 11th seeded Ramblers. The winner of this game will take on the winner of Tennessee or Wright State as part of the South Region. Loyola is the winner of the Missouri Valley Conference and come into the tournament with a 28-5 record on the season.
The Miami Hurricanes are 22-9 on the season. The Hurricanes finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season. The Hurricanes lost in the conference tournament to North Carolina by 17. In this game, the Hurricanes are small favorites. The Miami Hurricanes are -2 over the Loyola Ramblers on Thursday.
Hurricanes Looking to Avoid an Upset
The Miami Hurricanes are the bigger school, but they know they have to bring their top game to win this game. The Hurricanes had a four game winning streak before the conference tournament loss to the Tar Heels. The Hurricanes on the season are scoring 74.2 points per game, and allowing teams to score 68 per game.
The top scorer this season for the Hurricanes has been Lonnie Walker IV. He is scoring just 11.5 points per game. Ja’Quan Newton is adding 9 per game, and nearly 3 assists per game. Miami is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time, and are seeking their 9th win in the Big Dance.
Ramblers Back in the Dance
The Loyola Ramblers actually have a national title under their belt. The Ramblers won the title back in 1963. This is the first time since 1985 that the Ramblers are dancing. In their tournament history, Loyola is 9-4. This season, the Ramblers lost just five games all season. The biggest win of the season for Loyola came on the road at the Florida Gators. Loyola ran through the Missouri Valley Conference tournament with a win over Illinois State in the title game.
The Ramblers are led by their guard Clayton Custer. Custer scored 13.4 points per game, and dished out 4.2 assists per game. Porter Moser has done a great job as the head coach of the Ramblers, but the biggest key is their defense. The Ramblers are allowing teams to score just 62.2 per game, which is the 5th best in the country.
Ramblers Battle; Hurricanes Win
The Loyola Ramblers can battle, battle and battle in this game. Loyola is really good, but in the end, we are going to take the favorites in this game. Miami uses their better athletes down the stretch to not only cover the spread, but win the game. The final bet for the Thursday NCAA Tournament game is the Miami Hurricanes -2 over the Loyola Ramblers. Bet on the Miami Hurricanes -2 over the Loyola Ramblers on Thursday.