Top College Basketball Picks for Friday, March 5th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Friday, March 5th, 2021
Fri 5th March 2021

Loyola-Chicago vs. Southern Illinois

No. 20 ranked Loyola-Chicago faces Southern Illinois in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on Friday. The Ramblers enter as the No. 1 seed in the tournament, finishing the regular season 16-2 in the conference and 21-4 overall.

This is a rematch of sorts, as these teams closed out the regular season against one another. Loyola-Chicago won both of those contests, defeating the Saluki on Friday, February 26, 60-52, then winning on Saturday, 65-58. The Ramblers have won three games in a row and 14 of their last 15 games.

Southern Illinois enters at 5-13 in the conference and 12-13 overall. They closed out the regular season in a bit of a slump, losing six of their last eight games.

Loyola- Chicago is fifth in the nation in field-goal percentage at 50.4%. They are 65th overall in points per game and 98th in three-point shooting at 35.4%.

The Ramblers are led by Cameron Krutwig, the only player on the team averaging in double digits at 15.0 ppg. He also leads the team in rebounds per contest at 6.5. While there is not another player averaging in double digits, Loyola-Chicago has six players averaging between 7.0 and 7.9 points per game.

They also have five players averaging between 2.9 and 4.1 rebounds per contest. It is a team built on one superstar and a group of role players who work well off of one another.

Southern Illinois is near the bottom of the NCAA rankings in rebounds per game at 336th, 11 away from the bottom. They are shooting 45.1% from the floor and 65.8% from the free-throw line. They are 21st in the country in three-point shooting at 38.1%.

Marcus Domask is the leading scorer for the team at 16.3 ppg. He is averaging 4.5 rebounds per game. Tyler Filewich leads the team in rebounding at 5.7 per contest. Lance Jones is also averaging double-digit points at 13.7 per contest.

The Saluki defeated Bradley 73-63 in the opener to the MVC tournament. Ben Harvey led the team in points with 24 and three other players scored in double digits.

Dalton Banks led the team with eight rebounds. Filewich scored 12 points and added seven rebounds. The team shot an impressive 50% from the floor (27-54), including 37.0% from three-point range (10-27). 

Southern Illinois was favored by 1.5-points, easily covering the spread. The total to this game was set at 127.5, which was easily eclipsed as well.

College Basketball Pick – Loyola-Chicago by 8.

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