Skip to main content

No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 11 Loyola Chicago Preview: Game Time, Channel, Betting Line, Prediction

Sister Jean sits courtside.

The No. 3 seed Michigan Wolverines (32-7) take on the No. 11 seed Loyola Chicago Ramblers (32-5) in the Final Four. The game will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday, March 31. Tip-off time is TBA.

Preview: Michigan is heading to its second Final Four in five years, and looks to capture its first national title since 1989. John Beilein's team is red hot, running through the Big Ten Tournament, and now the West Region of this wild NCAA Tournament.

Michigan has found all kinda of ways to win this March. The Wolverines opened with a fairly nondescript win over No. 14 Montana, hit a buzzer beater against No. 6 Houston, blew the doors off of No. 7 Texas A&M, and had ground out a win against No. 9 Florida State.

Michigan is a pretty balanced team overall. The Wolverines are No. 25 in offensive efficiency, and fourth in defensive efficiency, per KenPom.

Moritz Wagner is the headliner for the Wolverines offensively, averaging 14.4 points per game. The 6-foot-11 German forward is a sharpshooter from deep, hitting 41-percent of his threes.

Guards Charles Matthews and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman each score 12.9 points per game. In the rough-and-tumble 58-54 win over the 'Noles, Matthews led the way with 17 points.

Wolverines' competition in the national semifinal could be the ultimate Cinderella. Loyola Chicago, featuring an incredibly balanced offense and tremendous defense, made it through a region that featured Virginia, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Arizona, and Kentucky.

The Ramblers were masters of the tight, defensive game through three rounds, holding No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, and No. 7 Nevada to 62, 62, and 68 points respectively. They won those games by a total of four points.

In the Elite Eight, however, Loyola had no issue dispatching of No. 9 seed Kansas State. The Ramblers once again only allowed 62 points in a 78-62 win.

Date: March 31

Time: TBA

TV Channel: TBS

Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

Announcers: Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson

Opening Betting Line: TBD

Prediction: Often, Cinderellas that make Final Four runs lose steam once they reach the final weekend. This Loyola team is legit though. The team is ranked 30th overall in KenPom, and has the nation's 18th-best defense.

The Kansas State game proved that the Ramblers can really score too, even against Power Five athletes.

However, Michigan is big, experienced, and takes care of business on both ends of the ball. The Ramblers can definitely contend here, and at this point a win shouldn't shock anyone, but I'm going with a Michigan win.