Southern Illinois at Loyola Chicago: 3/5/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction

Southern Illinois at Loyola Chicago: 3/5/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction Photo by Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Loyola Chicago Ramblers (21-4) vs Southern Illinois Salukis (12-13)

Game Info: Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm (Enterprise Center)

Betting Odds: Loyola Chicago -15.5 -- Over/Under: 121.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Southern Illinois Salukis and 20th ranked Loyola Chicago Ramblers will square off at the Enterprise Center in the Quarterfinals of the MVC Tournament this Friday afternoon.

The Southern Illinois Salukis finished the regular season with an overall record of 11-13 and earned the 9-seed in the MVC Tournament after finishing conference play with a 5-13 record. Southern Illinois was able to advance to the Quarterfinals after defeating the 8-seed Bradley Braves, 73-63, on Thursday night. Southern Illinois shot 50.0% from the field and 37.0% from beyond the arc while Bradley shot 47.4% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc. Southern Illinois was outrebounded by Bradley by a 32-27 margin, however, won the turnover battle by a 11-5 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Salukis was Ben Harvey who had 24 points, 5 rebounds, & 1 assist in 27 minutes from off the bench.

Coming into their game against Bradley on Thursday, Southern Illinois was averaging 65.9 ppg on 45.1% shooting from the field. The Salukis were averaging 8.2 three-pointers per game on 38.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Southern Illinois had been led by Lance Jones (13.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg), Ben Harvey (9.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg), Anthony D’Avanzo (7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.1 apg), & Trent Brown (6.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 spg).

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Defensively, Southern Illinois was allowing their opponents to average 68.1 ppg on 45.6% shooting from the field. The Salukis had a rebound margin of -4.2 and a turnover margin of 0.5.

The 20th ranked Loyola Chicago Ramblers finished their regular season with an overall record of 21-4 on the season and eared the 1-seed in the MVC Tournament after finishing conference play with a 16-2 record. Loyola Chicago was once again led by their defense which currently ranks 1st in scoring defense & 43rd in defensive FG% while also having an efficient offense that ranks 4th in FG%. Loyola Chicago could not pick-up wins against Wisconsin or Richmond in their non-conference schedule, however, the Ramblers were dominant in MVC play which included at one point, winning 11 straight games.

On the season, Loyola Chicago is averaging 71.6 ppg on 50.4% shooting from the field. The Ramblers are averaging 6.9 three-pointers per game on 35.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Loyola Chicago has been led by Cameron Krutwig (15.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.1 bpg), Lucas Williamson (7.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 spg), Aher Uguak (7.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.2 apg), & Braden Norris (7.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.7 apg).

Defensively, Loyola Chicago is holding their opponents to an average of 55.7 ppg on 40.7% shooting from the field. The Ramblers have a rebound margin of 4.7 and a turnover margin of 2.4.

Trends will be provided when released.

Loyola Chicago is one of the few mid-major teams that do not have to win their conference tournament as the Ramblers have probably done enough to punch their ticket, however, it’s probably important that they avoid an early exit and can’t be happy that they are seeing Southern Illinois in their first game after the Salukis played the Ramblers as tough as anyone in the MVC did on their home court last week. Southern Illinois does not have much of a scoring punch, however, their defense has been solid and as the Ramblers failed to put up 65+ points in either game against the Salukis recently, my initial lean is to take Southern Illinois who probably will be getting double-digit points.

Update - This line is about where we thought it would be and as I just think this is too many points, I'm sticking with Southern Illinois.

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Brett’s Pick Southern Illinois Salukis +15.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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