Drake vs. Loyola Chicago Prediction: Does Loyola Chicago Need to Win to Make the NCAA Tournament?

Drake vs. Loyola Chicago prediction and pick for Sunday's Missouri Valley Conference Championship game. Handicapper Jason Radowitz breaks down his favorite pick for this showdown on CBS Sunday afternoon.
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Drake vs. Loyola Chicago Prediction: Does Loyola Chicago Need to Win to Make the NCAA Tournament?

The Loyola Chicago Ramblers are a top 50 team offensively and defensively according to KenPom. However, if Loyola Chicago doesn't defeat the Drake Bulldogs for the Missouri Valley Conference Championship, the Ramblers will likely miss out on the NCAA Tournament.

Drake has defeated Loyola Chicago on the road and at home. It's always hard to beat a team three straight times but Drake could be in a position to do just that. Here are our picks and predictions for the Missouri Valley Conference Championship matchup between the Loyola Chicago Ramblers and the Drake Bulldogs.

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Drake vs. Loyola Chicago State Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Sunday, March 6, 2022
  • Game Time: 2:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: CBS

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Drake vs. Loyola Chicago Injury Report

Loyola Chicago

Questionable: G Keith Clemons (Undisclosed)

Drake

No Injuries to Report

Drake vs. Loyola Chicago Line Movement

Drake vs. Loyola Chicago Prediction

As stated earlier, Drake already defeated Loyola Chicago twice this season. In both games, the Bulldogs scored at least 77 points and basically put on a clinic offensively against a very tough Loyola defense. Maybe Drake just has Loyola's number. Or maybe everything will change today. After all, Loyola Chicago just held Northern Iowa to 43 points in the semifinals, winning that game, 66-43 after losing to Northern Iowa, 102-96 in overtime in late February.

Anyway, the Ramblers are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 56.8 percent this season. Loyola Chicago has hit 38.5 percent from deep and 56.1 percent from inside the arc and has really shown no signs of slowing down offensifely. The Ramblers will struggle earning offensive rebounds, as they average just 25 percent offensive rebounds on the year.

Loyola Chicago turns the ball over 18.2 percent of the time but at least the Ramblers have been getting to the foul line consistently where they shoot 71.9 percent.

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On the defensive end, beating Drake is no easy task. The Bulldogs make opponents work, as teams use 18.3 seconds per possession on the offensive end against Drake. This season, the Bulldogs have earned 19.6 percent turnovers and have held opponents to 25.9 percent offensive rebounds.

However, Drake's a bit aggressive on the defensive end and continues to foul and send opponents to the line at a high rate. At the end of the day, the Bulldogs have been an average defense, giving up 33.3 percent from three and 49.3 percent from inside the arc this season.

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On the offensive end, Drake doesn't usually get to the line at a solid rate as Loyola Chicago does. Drake doesn't even shoot three well this season either, hitting on just 32.6 percent of attempts this season. Drake is shooting 52 percent from inside the arc and that's mainly where the Bulldogs will take the majority of its shots. The Bulldogs also earn 30.6 percent offensive rebounds and limit turnovers to 15.7 percent per game.

Still, this season, Loyola Chicago, analytically, has been a terrific defense and it's showing in tournament play. The Ramblers are holding opponents to 23.7 percent offensive rebounds while earning 20 percent of turnovers. Opponents are also shooting just 31.7 percent from three and 47.1 percent from inside the arc. Therefore, I'll rely on Loyola Chicago's defense and believe that the Ramblers will finally get the job done against Drake the third time around.

Loyola Chicago Ramblers vs Drake Bulldogs Pick

ROI -12%
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Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.

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