Loy Chi Nevada

294
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Loyola Chicago

vs.

Nevada

Sweet 16 Pick

3/22/18

Not many could’ve predicted this matchup in the Sweet 16. Loyola was considered a legit mid-major, but needed a couple almost buzzer beaters to win its two Games. Nevada had to come back in both of its Games with the most recent one being from 22 points down in the final 12 minutes. As the 7-seed, Nevada is a -2 point favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook for the Game in Atlanta.

It’s hard to get a good read on these teams after the first two Games. Loyola was extremely lucky to come out on the winning end in both of its Games, while Nevada was a great in-Game bet in its two wins. One thing you can say about the Ramblers is at least they gave themselves a chance to win, keeping them close the entire way to finally seal it at the end. It was a different situation for the Wolf Pack, which trailed by 13 to Texas and then 22 to Cincinnati.

These teams are solid on both ends of the floor, but it’s been hit-or-miss for the two Tournament Games. The Ramblers are almost a worse version of Virginia in which they are a great shooting team, but play at an extremely slow pace, which is why they haven’t scored more than 64 points in two Games. Nevada is kind of the opposite and that led to some whacky results. It got down big because of bad defense, but then had the offensive firepower to come back and win.

Even without starting point guard Lindsey Drew, the Wolf Pack have gotten enough out of everyone else to steal wins. A small advantage for Nevada is that it has size at every position, especially with 6-foot-7 Cody Martin acting as a de facto point guard. That being the case, the Wolf Pack have only one player that’s shorter than 6-foot-7 and Hallice Cooke hasn’t been a factor anyway.

That size should be problematic for a Loyola team that only has one guy that comes in taller than 6-foot-6. Neither team is great at offensive rebounding, but Nevada could change that against this smaller roster. But with Cameron Krutwig, the Ramblers still have one of the bigger players and maybe only one that actually plays in the post on the cOurt. He hasn’t been a major factor in two Tournament Games, but is a guy that has put in some nice outings throughout the season. Nevada had trouble dealing with big men from both Texas and Cincy.

Otherwise, the Ramblers rely on Clayton Custer to run the show and shoot from three at better than a 47 percent rate. Throw in Donte Ingram and a slew of other guys that can hit from deep and the scoring options are plentiful. The test will be for Loyola to stop Nevada from scoring as easily as it has late in the last two Games.

So far, Cody Martin has not been stopped with 40 points and 13 assists to his name. Surrounding him are three other guys in Caleb Martin, Jordan Caroline and Kendall Stephens that can all shoot, but also drive and that’s a problem for defenses.

Not many expected this matchup and given how the previous ones played out for these teams, this one will come down to the wire. With more offensive firepower, it may be easier to go with the Wolf Pack, and due to their size, that should help plenty in a late-Game situation.

Our Pick – Nevada -1

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