Ramblers enter postseason having won 17 of last 18 contests
INDIANAPOLIS (March 17, 2021) – Eighth-seededLoyola, which enters the postseason having won 17 of its last 18 contests, including each of the last six, is making its second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years and will take on No. 9 seed Georgia Tech in a first-round game Friday (March 19) at 4 p.m. ET on TBS. Prior to 2018, the Ramblers had not made the NCAA Tournament since 1985, a drought of 33 years. Over the last four years, Loyola has established itself as one of the top mid-major programs in the country, going 97-35 (.735) and capturing three Missouri Valley Conference regular season crowns.
Under head coach Porter Moser, Loyola is making its fourth appearance in the postseason and in those previous three trips, he has guided the Ramblers to a 9-2 (.818) record. Moser steered Loyola to the CBI title in 2015, the NCAA Final Four in 2018 and the National Invitation Tournament in 2019.
Prior to this season, Loyola had not been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll since 1985, but the Ramblers have spent the last five weeks there, climbing as high as No. 17 in the poll that was released on March 15.
Loyola in the NCAA Tournament
Loyola is in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in program history and second under head coach Porter Moser. The Ramblers also reached the Big Dance in 1963, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1985 and 2018.
The Ramblers are 13-5 (.722) in NCAA Tournament action and are 6-2 in their last two appearances on the big stage.
Loyola has won at least one game in four of its previous six NCAA Tournament appearances.
When the Ramblers have made the NCAA Tournament, they have made plenty of noise, winning the national championship in 1963, reaching the Sweet 16 in 1985 and advancing all the way to the Final Four in 2018.
On March 11, 1963, Loyola throttled Tennessee Tech, 111-42, in the opening round and that 69-point win still stands as the largest margin of victory ever in NCAA Tournament play.
Loyola – Georgia Tech – The Series
Loyola and Georgia Tech are meeting for just the second time and first since December 30, 1967, when the Ramblers rolled to a 96-71 victory at Chicago Stadium.
The Ramblers are 11-43 (.204) all-time versus current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but college basketball fans surely haven’t forgotten about their last win versus an ACC foe. On March 15, 2018, Donte Ingram’s buzzer-beating three-pointer lifted Loyola to an unforgettable 64-62 victory over Miami in a NCAA Tournament First Round game in Dallas, and propelled the Ramblers on a magical run to the Final Four.
That 2018 game against Miami is the only time in Loyola’s NCAA Tournament history that it has played a team from the ACC.
Scouting Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech enters the 2021 NCAA Tournament on an eight-game winning streak and half of those wins have been by six points or less. Last weekend, the Yellow Jackets won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship for the first time since 1993.
The Yellow Jackets are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010 and 17th overall and their 22 ACC wins over the last two seasons are the most for the program over a two-year span.
Senior forward Moses Wright, the 2021 ACC Player of the Year, leads Georgia Tech in both scoring (17.4), rebounding (8.0) and blocks (1.6), and senior guard Jose Alvarado, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, who ranks second in the nation in steals (2.9), contributes 15.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.1 apg.
The winner of the Loyola – Georgia Tech contest will face the winner of the No. 1 seed Illinois versus No. 16 Drexel contest on Sunday, March 21. Time and location are still to be determined.
COURTESY LOYOLA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS