#9 Georgia Tech vs #8 Loyola (Chicago) NCAA Tournament Round 1

#9 Georgia Tech vs #8 Loyola (Chicago) NCAA Tournament Round 1 | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 17, 2021

ACC champion and No. 9 seed Georgia Tech – which might be down a player due to COVID – takes on No. 8 seed and Missouri Valley Conference champion Loyola (Chicago) in a terrific first-round NCAA Tournament matchup on Friday. The Ramblers are short favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Georgia Tech vs. Loyola (Chicago) NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

This will be the second meeting between Loyola and Georgia Tech and the first since December 30, 1967, when the Ramblers captured a 96-71 victory at Chicago Stadium.

Why Bet on Georgia Tech? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner reported Tuesday that there has been a positive test among the team’s traveling party but he wouldn’t say if it was a player or not and isn’t allowed to regardless. Pastner said abnormalities were found in their postgame testing Saturday after Tech won the ACC championship in Greensboro, N.C. The positive test was discovered on intake in Indianapolis. That person is isolating in Indianapolis but it shouldn’t affect Tech playing in the tournament. If it was a player, he would have to miss at least the first two rounds.

The Yellow Jackets (11-6) upset Florida State in the ACC title game to win that event for the first time in 28 years and the fourth time overall.  Tech’s 2021 ACC championship was its first since 1993. The Jackets also won ACC titles in 1985 and 1990.

Despite four scorers in double-figures – Michael Devoe, Jordan Usher (15), Moses Wright (15) and Jose Alvarado (13) – it was Georgia Tech’s defense that was the key to its fifth win of the season over a nationally ranked team (against just three losses). Tech forced Florida State into a season-high 25 turnovers, triggered by an ACC Tournament championship game record 15 steals, and scored a whopping 31 points off the Seminoles’ miscues. Alvarado, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, led all players with five steals.

Wright was named ACC Player of the Year. He became the third Yellow Jacket to be named the conference’s top player. Mark Price was named by the Associated Press in 1985, and Dennis Scott was honored in 1990. Wright, who ranks third in the ACC in scoring (18.0 ppg), rebounding (8.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (.544) and is among the top eight in four other categories, won the Player of the Year voting by a landslide, receiving 33 of 76 possible votes.

Tech won its last six regular-season ACC games, then defeated Miami and Florida State in the ACC Tournament, giving the Jackets their longest winning streak since the 1995-96 season.

It’s Georgia Tech’s first NCAA Tournament since 2010 and 17th in school history.  Tech has a record of 23-16 in NCAA Tournament play, highlighted by its 2004 trip to the NCAA title game as well as a Final Four berth in 1990. The Yellow Jackets have reached the NCAA Sweet 16 seven times (1960, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2004).

Why Bet on Loyola (Chicago)? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Ramblers (24-4) are one of the hottest teams in the country and head into Friday’s game versus Georgia Tech having won 17 of their last 18 games.

In 2018, the Ramblers made a run to the Final Four, putting the school on the national radar. Cameron Krutwig, a freshman standout on that Final Four team, has played like an All-American after averaging 15.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.1 SPG. The Ramblers boast the most efficient defense in the country and they’ve made 58% of their shots inside the arc — better marks than the team that reached the 2018 Final Four in both categories.

Krutwig, a senior center, has been named Third Team All-America by the Associated Press. The big man is the first Rambler to earn first, second or third team AP All-America honors since Alfredrick Hughes captured third team accolades in 1985. The 6-foot-9 Krutwig is the only player in program history to rank in the school’s top ten in points (1,790), rebounds (919) and assists (364). Krutwig has scored in double digits on 23 occasions this season and has recorded five doubles-doubles, four of which have come in the last 10 contests.

This year’s Ramblers rolled to a program record 16 conference wins, eclipsing the previous mark of 15 set by the 2017-18 squad. Loyola has won 20 or more games in four straight seasons and is one of only 12 programs in the country to have won 97 or more games over the last four years.

Loyola is making its seventh appearance in the NCAA Tournament, just its second since 1985 and first since a captivating run to the Final Four in 2018. Success in the NCAA Tournament has been plentiful for the Ramblers, who are 13-5 (.722) in their six previous appearances, including a NCAA championship in 1963, a Sweet 16 appearance in 1985, and the aforementioned trip to the Final Four just three years ago.

Game Trends

  • Yellow Jackets are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
  • Yellow Jackets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
  • Yellow Jackets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
  • Yellow Jackets are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog.
  • Ramblers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as a favorite.
  • Ramblers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.
  • Ramblers are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 games following a straight up win.

Expert Prediction

  • Loyola 67, Georgia Tech 65

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