Tag Archives: Arch Madness

ISU Arch Madness Preview — 3-4-2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018 1:00 p.m.
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.

Loyola is only one win away from an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002 after a 62-54 win over Bradley on Saturday afternoon. The Ramblers will face Illinois State on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS television to decide the MVC tournament championship.

Illinois State advanced to the Arch Madness final with a 76-68 overtime win over Southern Illinois in the evening game on Saturday, just a couple hours after the Ramblers secured their spot in the final. After ending regulation knotted up at 56-all, the Redbirds scored 20 points in the five minute overtime (exactly as many as in the 20-minute 2nd half) to secure the victory.

Phil Fayne, the athletic 6’9” forward, scored 26 points in the game while four other players (Malik Yarborough, Keyshawn Evans, William Tinsley, and Matt Hein) added double-digit points. Illinois State took 37 shots from the free-throw line and made 27 of them. ISU shot only 36.4% from the field in the game, but the 27 freebies and a 47-35 rebounding advantage pulled the Redbirds over the finish line.

Loyola reached the final behind timely scoring, particularly from Marques Townes (12 points) and Clayton Custer (12 points). Townes hit a big three pointer with 1:25 remaining to give the Ramblers a cushion after a long scoring drought by both teams. Lucas Williamson and Ben Richardson also hit some timely shots down the stretch to secure the win for Loyola.

The Ramblers and Illinois State have played two games this season with the Ramblers coming out on top each time. In fact, Loyola and ISU scored the same exact number of points in the first and second halves both times, with the identical 68-61 final score.

ISU has been turning it on at the end of the year now that their full complement of players has returned from illness and injury. And young players like Matt Hein (12 points on Saturday) and William Tinsley (14 points on Saturday, 12.1 points per game over his last eight contests) have been finding more consistency and confidence on the offensive end.

Loyola hasn’t looked great in their first two games at Arch Madness, but they’ve shown themselves to be a savvy, experienced and persistent bunch. One key component of the Arch Madness experience is that each game usually represents the end of the career of several players. However, Illinois State doesn’t have a single senior on their team. Hopefully the Ramblers will play well enough to make a dream come true for several seniors: Ben Richardson, Donte Ingram, Aundre Jackson, Carson Shanks, and Nick DiNardi would love to be part of Loyola’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 1985. The Redbirds haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998.

It’s been one day shy of 16 years since Loyola was this close to an NCAA Tournament bid. On March 5, 2002, UIC defeated Loyola 76-75 in overtime in Cleveland at the 2002 Horizon League Tournament. Loyola last won a conference tournament in 1985, when Loyola beat host Oral Roberts in the Midwestern City Conference tournament final in Tulsa, but the Ramblers likely would have received an at large bid that season if they’d come up short in the tournament final. Loyola was a 4 seed in the 1985 NCAA Tournament and advance to the Sweet 16.

Both teams have a lot on the line Sunday.

Arch Madness Tournament Notebook: http://www.mvc-sports.com/sports/2017/8 … ntral.aspx

Loyola game notes: http://www.loyolaramblers.com/documents … df?id=6905

Illinois State game notes: Pending

TV/Streaming video: CBS / https://www.cbssports.com/cbssports

Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=209936

Vegas odds: Loyola by 7.5

Bradley Arch Madness Preview — 3-3-2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018 2:30 p.m.
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.

Loyola advances to the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference tournament semifinals with a nerve-wracking 54-50 victory over Northern Iowa. Donte Ingram and Marques Townes were the two offensive stars for the Ramblers, scoring 13 points each on combined 11 for 19 shooting from the field. The win was Loyola’s eighth win in a row, constituting Loyola’s longest winning streak since 1984-85. Loyola has had seven 7-game winning streaks in the past 12 seasons, but hasn’t won eight in a row since their 19-game winning streak was ended by Georgetown in the 1985 Sweet 16.

This is the second time the Ramblers have reached the Arch Madness semifinals, the last time being in 2015, when Northern Iowa knocked the 6th seed Ramblers out of the tournament on the way to a title and a 2nd round NCAA Tournament loss to Louisville. Loyola went on to win the CBI that season.

Loyola will face Bradley, who advanced to the semifinals thanks to a thrilling, last second 63-61 win over Drake. Bradley’s only senior, Donte Thomas, had an offensive rebound and put-back just before time ran out. Thomas has been a similar player to Loyola’s Donte Ingram over his career, and the two have had some fierce battles during the nine games they’ve played over their careers. In their last meeting on Jan. 31, Thomas got the better of the other Donte, getting a win, scoring 12 points, and holding Ingram to a season-low two points. Ingram has scored 91 points against Bradley in the nine games, and Thomas has scored 65. Their tenth meeting will determine whose college basketball career continues, and whose comes to an end.

The Ramblers are 2-0 against the Braves at Arch Madness. Loyola and Bradley are meeting for the 60th time in a series that dates back to 1928. The Braves hold a 34-25 advantage all-time, but the Ramblers have won eight of the last 10 contests.

Last time the two teams met, the Braves survived a furious late comeback attempt by the Ramblers on Jan. 31 at Carver Arena, when Loyola cut an 11-point deficit down to 1 with two minutes to go, but lost 69-67. Bradley freshman Elijah Childs was superb in that game, scoring 18 points and snagging seven rebounds. Three other Bradley players, Donte Thomas, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, and Nate Kennell, added 12 points apiece. Clayton Custer led Loyola with 23 points.

Since their last meeting, the Braves have struggled to close out the season losing five of their last seven regular season games before their win on Friday. Many Bradley fans feel that they match up well with Loyola, and as one of the three MVC teams that beat Loyola during the conference season and one of two teams all year to beat Loyola with Clayton Custer in the lineup, they have a solid claim.

Arch Madness Tournament Notebook: http://www.mvc-sports.com/sports/2017/8 … ntral.aspx

Loyola game notes: http://www.loyolaramblers.com/documents … df?id=6898

Bradley game notes: Pending

TV/Streaming video: CBS Sports Network / https://www.cbssports.com/cbssports

Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=209934

Vegas odds: Loyola by 6.5

UNI at Arch Madness Preview

Friday, March 2, 2018 12:00 p.m.
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Mo.

Loyola faces Northern Iowa just 16 hours after UNI’s 60-50 win over Evansville in the opening game of Arch Madness 2018. UNI got the win by holding the MVC’s leading scorer Ryan Taylor to a season-low two points on 1 of 13 shooting. Wyatt Lohaus led UNI with 15 points, and Hunter Rhodes added 14 more points.

The Ramblers have spent the past week going to class, practicing, collecting hardware (Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year) and doing media interviews (USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Loyola Phoenix, local TV, etc.). This is different from the usual Ramblers routine of game prep in relative obscurity. But it’s important work introducing the MVC to the Chicago media.

Many other Arch Madness #1 seeds have had struggles after a long, distracting layoff. None of them lost in the #1 vs. 8/9 game (Friday), but 10 #1 seeds have lost in the semifinals (Saturday), and nine #1s have lost in the finals (Sunday). That leaves only eight #1 seeds winning the conference tournament championship in the 27 years of Arch Madness. In a year of parity for the Missouri Valley (seeds 2 through 10 bunched within a range of 90 RPI rankings), just about anything can happen if someone gets lucky.

Loyola swept UNI during the regular season, with a 56-50 win on Jan 7, 2018 in Cedar Falls and a 70-47 win on Jan. 28, 2018 in Chicago. Clayton Custer led the Ramblers in scoring in both games, notching 11 points on the road and 21 points at home. Donte Ingram led Loyola in rebounding both times.

UNI won three of their last four games to work their way up to the 9 seed in the MVC Tournament. Perhaps the biggest change since Loyola and UNI last met is the emergence of 6’1″ sophomore guard Hunter Rhodes as a much more prominent part of the team. Beginning with the game after UNI’s last loss to Loyola, Rhodes has averaged 7.9 points per game over the last nine contests after scoring only 16 points in his first 13 games. Rhodes joined the starting lineup for the past five games.

The Ramblers are 6-5 against the Panthers since joining the MVC, 3-4 at Arch Madness, and 0-1 against UNI at Arch Madness. UNI lost their only game in last year’s Arch Madness as the 3 seed, but UNI had won six Arch Madness games in a row before last year. Since Ben Jacobsen was promoted to head coach in 2006, UNI has won at Arch Madness four times and have an overall record of 14-7.

Arch Madness Tournament Notebook: http://mvc-sports.com/news/2018/2/26/ar … ebook.aspx

Loyola game notes: http://www.loyolaramblers.com/documents … df?id=6893

Opposition game notes: https://unipanthers.com/documents/2018/ … df?id=3812

TV/Streaming video: NBC Sports Chicago / http://stream.nbcsports.com/rsn/nbcs-chicago

Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=209930

Vegas odds: Loyola by 5.5