Everyone remembers Loyola’s run to the Sweet 16 last season. Who can forget the magic of Sister Jean, Loyola’s upset of top-seeded Illinois, and their tough loss to Oregon State? Many are predicting that Loyola will make another long run in this year’s tournament. First off, they’ll need to defeat one of the nine Big 10 teams in this year’s tournament, as they’ll face the Ohio State Buckeyes in the #7 vs. #10 game of the South Region in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Check out March Madness Odds, analysis, and a free prediction for Loyola-Chicago Ramblers versus Ohio State Buckeyes.
Men’s College Basketball March Madness Betting: #7 Ohio State vs #10 Loyola Match Preview
Ohio State Buckeyes
The South region could be the toughest region in this year’s tournament. The #7 seed Ohio State Buckeyes finished the season with a 19-11 record in the Big 10. Prior to the season, they were one of the favorites to win the conference. Led by All-American candidate EJ Liddell, who averages 19 points and eight rebounds per game, many thought the Buckeyes would be one of the top teams in the country. Chris Holtmann, in his fifth year in Columbus, has done a very good job after taking over for Thad Matta. Although the Buckeyes didn’t end the season on a good note, they still have the talent to make a long tournament run.
They say that if you live by the three, you die by the three. Although Ohio State doesn’t shoot a lot of threes, when they’re struggling from beyond the arc, they don’t win games. When hitting over 40% of their three-point shots, they’re 10-1 on the season.
After last year’s tournament run, Porter Moser left Loyola for the University of Oklahoma. Drew Valentine, an assistant on Moser’s staff, was named the new head coach. Valentine is the youngest coach in Division 1 this season, and the Loyola Ramblers are back in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years. After winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Loyola’s last year in the MVC, many think that they have what it takes to make another long run.
Like 2018 Final Four team and last year’s Sweet 16 squad, Loyola runs a slow, methodical offensive system. They’re very efficient on the offensive end, and they play a suffocating style of man-to-man defense. Loyola averages nearly 74 points per game, and their defense is one of the top units in the country, as they only give up 62 points per game.
This doesn’t happen a lot in the NCAA Tournament, but the lower seed is favored to win, as the Loyola Ramblers are one-point favorites. Loyola’s defense will give Ohio State fits, and when the Buckeyes don’t shoot well, they don’t get offensive rebounds, and they struggle. In looking at the betting numbers, they tend to favor Loyola. The Ramblers are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, while the Ohio State Buckeyes’ are 1-4 against the spread in their last five. We like the Ramblers in this one. We see them beating the Buckeyes 63-60, moving on to round two of the NCAA Tournament.