Use the promo code HeroSports to get your 50% Bonus
In their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985, Loyola Chicago also advanced to their first Sweet Sixteen since 1985, when they fell to eventual national runner-up Georgetown. They're two games away from the program's second-ever Final Four thanks to two last-second go-ahead buckets, most recently Clayton Custer's off-balance jumper with 3.6 seconds remaining to beat Tennessee on Saturday night.
The Ramblers are running at breakneck speed but there is a one-day waiting period as they await the winner of Cincinnati and Nevada, who play in the Second Round of the South Region on Sunday afternoon.
For Loyola fans, here are five things to watch in that game.
1. Cincinnati's Pace
Miami (FL) ranks 240th nationally in possessions per game (70) and Tennessee ranks 272nd (69.3). That was no problem for the Ramblers, who move even slower, averaging just 66.6 possessions (340th) as they suffocate teams defensively and don't rush offensive possessions.
Cincinnati also moves slow, averaging just 68 possessions (320th) per game and, like Loyola, wears down opponents on the defensive end while taking their time to find a high-percentage shot offensively.
2. Nevada's Balanced Attack
The dangerous quartet has length (each is 6-foot-7) and — in head coach Eric Musselman's position-less system — can play anywhere on the court. Loyola's 6-foot-3 guard Ben Richardson, the Missouri Valley Defensive Player of the Year, is capable of guarding taller players but the length of all four guys could be an issue.
3. Offensive Rebounding
Cincinnati forward Gary Clark averages 2.9 offensive rebounds per game for a team that averages 13.2, 11th-best in the country. Loyola routinely struggles on the defensive glass, and though their numbers are a little misleading, they still give up nearly nine offensive rebounds per game.
The Ramblers have held Miami and Tennessee to 15 offensive boards total. The Vols had just six, more than five fewer than their season average.
4. Nevada's Perimeter Shooting
Nevada attempts nearly 25 three-pointers per game and hits nearly 10, or about 40 percent.
The Wolf Pack has seven players with at least 14 made three-pointers on the season and two with at least 90, both of whom shoot better than 40 percent, Caleb Martin (40.4) and Kendall Stephens (44.4). The pair hit nine three-pointers in their First Round win over Texas and, again, at 6-foot-7, could be a big matchup problem outside.
5. Cincinnati's Quick Hands
Cincinnati registers a steal on 9.6 percent of their defensive possessions, 20th in the country, and averaged more than seven steals per game on their way to a plus-3.3 turnover margin. They also rank fourth with a block percentage of 10 percent, swatting 5.5 shots per game.
Loyola's opponents average a modest 3.1 blocks per game but they had seven shots blocked vs. Miami.