April 23, 2018

College Basketball Odds: Loyola-Chicago, Florida State Underdogs Saturday

24 March 2018, 01:36 | Kristopher Drake

Two former Blue Valley Northwest Students helped lead Loyola Chicago to the Elite 8 on Thursday night

Two former Blue Valley Northwest Students helped lead Loyola Chicago to the Elite 8 on Thursday night

In becoming the first at-large team to win an NCAA title in 13 years, George Ireland's remarkable Ramblers overcame a 15-point second half deficit, caught the top-rated Bearcats at the wire on a jump shot by All-America Jerry Harkness, then scaled the heights of college basketball when the 6-foot-6 Rouse came up with a flawless follow to a 10-foot jump shot by Les Hunter.

Following a timeout, Nevada's Caleb Martin answered with a 3-pointer, but this time the Wolf Pack couldn't extend their string of second-half comebacks in the tournament.

Brown darted into the lane with the shot clock running down, seemingly blowing by every Kentucky player to get to the basket, and banked one in with 18 seconds remaining to put K-State up 60-58.

"I felt like our team was focused and relaxed", head coach Joel Walton said. "This is unbelievable. Feels like a dream".

Following a steal by Townes, Ben Richardson's layup gave the Ramblers their first double-digit lead at 36-26 and allowed them to take their biggest lead at 40-28. But they crawled back into it, forced overtime, and scored a ludicrous 19 points on nine possessions in the extra period to secure the 87-83 win in what was one of the most entertaining games of the first round.

Townes drilled the clutch 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds to go to make it a four-point margin as Loyola-Chicago closed it out.

Embracing the grind is what Kansas State and Loyola-Chicago are all about.

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MI won its second round game to reach the Sweet 16 on freshman Jordan Poole's long 3 in the closing seconds against Houston.

The Bearcats of Ed Jucker, seeking an unprecedented third straight championship, slowed things down so much that they scored only two field goals in the last 14 minutes of regulation play. The Wolfpack went on a run of their own, a 16-9 run in fact that ultimately saw the game tied on a Cody Martin drive down the center of the Ramblers defense with 4:01 remaining in the game.

It was a game of runs that was being played in Atlanta as it was the Wolf Pack who got out in front early 20-8 early in the first half but Rambles tightened up on defense and started making shots starting at the midway point of the first half. Marques Townes came through with his best game of the tournament in the victory, netting 18 points on 6 for 10 shooting.

The Wolverines will meet the victor of the Gonzaga-Florida State game in the West Regional final in Los Angeles Saturday.

Instead, Custer will attempt to prevent the school he could have attended from reaching the Final Four. And yet Nevada was within ten at that point, and quickly cut into the lead further. He has averaged 11.2 points this season and seems like the Ramblers' most unsafe player. The Wolverines, who had one first-half turnover, had a season-high 58 points in the second half of a 102-64 victory over Chaminade on November 21. The 11th-seeded Loyola Ramblers are one of the biggest surprises of the NCAA men's basketball tournament this year. The Butler-Duke championship game in 2010, which was Butler's first run to the Final, is the second-highest rated title game in the last decade, behind only Wisconsin vs. Duke in 2015. The Seminoles' bench had 42 points against Missouri and 46 against Xavier in its previous tournament victories.

BOTTOM LINE: Loyola boasts the nation's longest active winning streak, 13 games.

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