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NCAAM Tournament 2021 – #8 Loyola Chicago Ramblers (25-4) vs #1 Illinois Fighting Illini (24-6)

Round Two - Illinois has Rebounding and Point Edge

This Loyola Chicago vs Illinois pick has the Ramblers as the underdog. This 2021 NCAA Tournament  Midwest Region Round Two game has the Loyola Chicago Ramblers at +7.5 (-109). The line for the favored Illinois Fighting Illini is -7.5 (-103). Loyola Chicago is coming off a 71-60 Round One victory over the Georgetown Hoyas. Over their last five games, they’ve gone 5-0. The Illinois Fighting Illini, who’ve also won five straight games, are coming off a 78-49 Round One win over the Drexel Dragons. The Ramblers and Fighting Illini will meet on Sunday, March 21 at 12:10 pm ET. The game will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. We’ve got every March Madness pick! Here’s a direct link to our Wisconsin vs Baylor analysis and prediction.

Loyola Chicago vs Illinois Pick – Stats

There are a few statistics that are important in this matchup. The two stats that stick out are point production and rebounds. Illinois is averaging 81.4 PPG while Loyola Chicago is hitting for 71.5 PPG. In addition, the Fighting Illini are grabbing 40.4 RPG. The Ramblers are bringing down 32.6 RPG. Both teams are shooting right around 50% from the field. Illinois is a tad better on threes (37.6% to 36.8%). On the other hand, Loyola Chicago is hitting a higher percentage of their free throws (72.3% to 69.1%).

Key Players

For the Ramblers, Cameron Krutwig is the strength in the paint, averaging 14.9 PPG and 6.7 RPG. He’s got a 58.1 FG%. Also, around the rim, Aher Uguak is putting in 7.5 PPG and 4.2 RPG while connecting on 63.4% of his field-goal attempts. In the backcourt, Braden Norris is making 3.1 APG and adding 8.4 PPG. He’s completing 41% of his shots from the arc. Counterpart Lucas Williamson is averaging 8.6 PPG and 1.4 SPG.

Guard Ayo Dosunmu leads the Fighting Illini. He’s averaging 20.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 5.4 APG. Dosunmu is a 49.0% field-goal shooter and completing 38.3% of his threes. Also, in the backcourt, Trent Frazier is scoring 10.4 PPG. Around the rim, Kofi Cockburn offers double-double potential. He’s putting in 17.6 PPG and bringing down 9.5 RPG. Cockburn is connecting on 65.7% of his field goal attempts.

Loyola Chicago vs Illinois Pick – Final Thoughts

Our Loyola Chicago vs Illinois pick notes that these two teams will be competitive in this game. However, we have to consider going with the Fighting Illini on this. They’re better on rebounds and point production. However, Loyola Chicago has some solid players. In the end, we’re going with the Illinois Fighting Illini at -7.5 (-103).

#8 Loyola Chicago Ramblers vs #1 Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Fighting Illini at -7.5 (-103)


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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