Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#6211 Arizona State vs.
#6212 Loyola - Chicago
Friday, November 26, 2021 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris King

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A pair of teams looking to leave an island paradise with at least a victory in their pocket square off in the seventh-place game as the Pac-12 takes on the Missouri Valley Conference at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Arizona State Sun Devils are the “road” team as they take on the Loyola Chicago Ramblers Friday night. Arizona State was outgunned 92-84 by Syracuse in their losers’ bracket contest Thursday night. Loyola Chicago ended up falling short 62-53 to #19 Auburn in their losers’ bracket clash Thursday afternoon in their most recent game. The Sun Devils have won both previous matchups, including an 85-82 victory on the road in the most recent matchup back on December 9, 1972.

Arizona State Sun Devils Looking to Stop Slide

Arizona State got their offense going against Syracuse in the losers’ bracket but their defense was unable to slow down the opposition and that sent them to defeat. The Sun Devils dropped to 2-4 on the season with their third straight defeat. Against Syracuse, Arizona State was in a tight game for the first 12-plus minutes as they were down just one at that point. The problem for the Sun Devils is they were outscored 21-4 over the final seven-plus minutes of the first half to trail 48-30 at the half. Arizona State couldn’t make a sustained push in the second half as they got no closer than seven the rest of the way to take the loss. The Sun Devils shot 44.9% from the floor, including 15 of 39 from three-point range, though they clanked eight of their 15 free throw attempts and allowed Syracuse to shoot 54.1% in the game. Marreon Jackson paced the Sun Devils with 17 points and seven assists in the loss.

The Sun Devils put up an average of 70.5 points per contest this season, putting them 221st in the nation in scoring offense. Arizona State hauls in 33.8 rebounds per game while dishing out 15.7 assists a night on the year. The Sun Devils are above average defensively so far as they are 211th in scoring defense by allowing 70.2 points per game this season. Kimani Lawrence is leading the team in scoring with 13.2 points plus 9.5 rebounds per game this season. Luther Muhammad (10 points, 2.8 rebounds) and Marcus Bagley (10 points, four rebounds) each are secondary scoring options. DJ Horne (12 points), Marreon Jackson, Jalen Graham, Alonzo Gaffney, Jay Heath, Jamiya Neal and Enoch Boakye are all averaging double-digit minutes a night for coach Bobby Hurley. Arizona State shoots 42.1% from the floor as a team this year. The Sun Devils drain 8.7 triples a night and shoot 33.3% of their long-range attempts. Arizona State is converting only 64% of their chances at the free-throw line this season.

Loyola Chicago Ramblers Try to Win Finale

Loyola Chicago came to the islands unbeaten on the year but they’ve dropped two straight after falling to Auburn Thursday. The Ramblers are 4-2 on the season and look to get back in the win column in the finale of the tournament here. Against Auburn, Loyola Chicago started slowly, falling behind 7-0 in the opening minute, before rallying. The Ramblers climbed within two at the half and led 38-36 in the second half before giving up the next five points to trail 41-38. Loyola Chicago never got even again as they went down in defeat. The Ramblers shot 44.7% from the field, including seven of 23 from three-point range, turned the ball over 18 times and went only four of nine at the free throw line. Marquise Kennedy led the team with 13 points in the loss.

The Ramblers stand 73rd in the nation in scoring offense as they put up an average of 79.7 points per game on the season. Loyola Chicago collects 33.3 boards per night and rank 2nd in assists by dishing out 18.3 dimes a night. The Ramblers are excellent on the defensive end as they are 61st in the nation by allowing 61 points per contest. Ryan Schweiger leads the team with 11.3 points per game this season. Aher Uguak (10.3 points) and Lucas Williamson (11 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists) are solid secondary scoring options. Braden Norris, Tate Hall, Marquise Kennedy, Chris Knight, Jacob Hutson, Tom Welch and Saint Thomas all are secondary options on the offensive end of the floor. Loyola Chicago shoots a solid 49.9% from the field as a team on the year. The Ramblers connect on 10.2 three-pointers per contest while shooting 41.5% from beyond the arc. Loyola Chicago is converting 66.3% of their attempts at the free throw line this season, a number they’d like to improve a bit.

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This one is going to be a test for Arizona State as they have shown that they have major issues on the defensive end of the floor. The Sun Devils are coming off a game where they gave up 92 points to a Syracuse team that was stifled by VCU in the opening round of the tournament. Loyola Chicago has plenty of offensive weapons and they can burn you from the perimeter. After all, the Ramblers are 15th in the nation in three-point shooting this season. Arizona State doesn’t have the defensive chops or the firepower to hang with Loyola Chicago. Look for the Ramblers to prevail here to leave with a victory.

Prediction: Loyola Chicago Ramblers

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Arizona State plays at an above average pace themselves as they are 131st in tempo with 69.8 possessions a night. The Sun Devils are 66th in offensive efficiency despite ranking just 182nd in effective field goal percentage (48.9%), 163rd in three-point shooting and 196th in two-point shooting (48.4%) according to KenPom. According to KenPom, Loyola Chicago is 12th in the nation in effective field goal percentage (58.5%), 15th in three-point shooting and 40th in two-point shooting (55.8%) this season. The Ramblers are pouring in points despite ranking just 251st in tempo with 67.7 possessions a night.  Look for this one to go over the number.

Prediction: Over

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.