No. 11 seed Loyola faces No. 6 seed Miami (Fla.) in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at 2:10 p.m. CT Thursday. The game will be broadcast live on truTV in addition to live streaming coverage on NCAA.com.
Loyola is back in the tournament for the first time since 1985, when the Ramblers were knocked out by the likes of Patrick Ewing and Georgetown. The school won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament to end its 33-year drought and set up a matchup against the Hurricanes.
Juniors Clayton Custer and Marques Townes and senior Donte Ingram will be the key players for Loyola. Ingram was a leader in the Ramblers’ 65-49 win over Illinois State in the MVC title game with a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes.
Miami enters the game with a 22-9 overall record and 11-7 ACC record. The Hurricanes earned a big win over North Carolina on Feb. 27, but they lack the star power you typically see from teams that make runs in March. No player on Miami averages more than 11.5 points per game.
Loyola may still be the underdog as the No. 11 seed, but this is one of the closest matchups in the first round. The Hurricanes are 37th in KenPom.com‘s national rankings, while the Ramblers are right behind at 40th. Despite the difference in their seeding, there’s reason to believe this is actually going to be a pretty even matchup.
In three of Loyola’s five NCAA Tournament trips, the team has reached at least the Sweet Sixteen. They’ll look to make a new Cinderella run starting against Miami on Thursday.
Loyola vs. Miami (Fla.), 2018 NCAA Tournament
Time: 2:10 p.m. CT
Live stream: NCAA.com