Loyola Chicago at Ohio State 3/18/22 College Basketball Picks and Predictions

Loyola Chicago at Ohio State 3/18/22 College Basketball Picks and Predictions Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State Buckeyes (19-11) vs Loyola Chicago Ramblers (25-7)

Game Info: Friday, March 17, 2022 at 3:15 pm (PPG Paints Arena)

Betting Odds: Ohio State Buckeyes +1 -- Over/Under: 132.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Loyola Chicago faces Ohio State on Friday, March 18th, 2022 at PPG Paints Arena for a First Round NCAA Tournament college basketball matchup. 

Loyola Chicago out of the Missouri Valley Conference is back in the NCAA Tournament as the Ramblers have become usual suspects around this time of the year. Of course, Loyola Chicago make a historic run to the final four back in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and just last year Sister Jean and company pulled off a major upset of #1 seed Illinois in the 2nd round to make it to the Sweet 16. Loyola Chicago is the MVC champ this year and earned a 25-7 record this season. Loyola Chicago was not a great cover team this year, only going 13-17-1 against the spread this season. Loyola Chicago's leading scorer is one of the Missouri Valley's top talents in G Lucas Williamson, who scored 14.0 points per game and earned 5.0 rebounds per game for the Ramblers. Loyola Chicago as a team scored 73.8 points per game and shot the ball at a 48.3% clip from the field. Loyola Chicago also allowed 61.7 points per game to its opponents as the Ramblers' defense was tough to beat yet again this season.

Ohio State did not expect to be out of the top-5 in seeding a few weeks ago, but the Buckeyes certainly struggled down the stretch this season and were lackluster in their one and only conference tournament game. Ohio State lost four of its last five games going into the NCAA tournament, which is never a good sign to see from any team. Teams that lost their first game of a conference tournament have really struggled in the NCAA Tournament, so it will be interesting to see if the Buckeyes can buck that trend. Ohio State is 19-11 and went 15-15-0 against the spread this season. Ohio State's leading scorer is one of the nation's top players in F E.J. Liddell. Liddell scored 19.6 points per game and earned 7.9 rebounds per game for the Buckeyes this season. Ohio State as a team has scored 73.8 points per game and has shot the ball at a 47.4% clip from the field. Ohio State also allowed 68.5 points per game to its opponents as well. 

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Loyola Chicago is a 1-point favorite and the total is set at 132.5. Despite being the 10 seed in this first-round matchup, Loyola Chicago is the favorite, and I think that is rightfully so. Not only has Ohio State struggled down the stretch, but Loyola Chicago also has a rich history in this tournament as of late and we all know what happened in the first round of last year's tourney for Ohio State. Ohio State's defense is not good enough to compete here in my opinion and although Liddell is someone that can take over a game by himself, I think Loyola Chicago is a very tough team to beat in March. Loyola Chicago has a top-45 offense in terms of adjusted efficiency and a top-25 defense, which is good enough for me to take the Ramblers in this one. 

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Ron’s Pick Loyola Chicago -1

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

Mitch's Take...

MLB Picks & Predictions Today 6/27/22 | Ron's Rundown

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