Loyola rambles on into Elite Eight

The rout was on by halftime with MI leading 52-28.

No small accomplishment for a team that struggled for decades following a Sweet 16 loss to Patrick Ewing and Georgetown in 1985.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led MI with 24 points.

Tyler Davis led the seventh-seeded Aggies with 24 points.

The win leaves the No. 11th-seeded Ramblers, the biggest surprise in a regional that has lost its top four seeds, one victory from a Final Four appearance.

The 11th-seeded Ramblers kept up their incredible run with a 69-68 victory over seventh-seeded Nevada on Thursday night in the South Region in Atlanta. Marques Townes led Loyola-Chicago with 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting with a pair of threes, including the dagger three to seal the win for the Ramblers in addition to a team-high 5 assists. He finished with 18 points.

Since round one, the Ramblers have been playing wire-to-wire games which were all decided by a single possession. The Ramblers did not quit, found their scoring touch and put together a 12-0 run to take 28-24 lead into halftime.

Nevada rallied and it came to the final seconds.

Loyola is a team dominated by upperclassmen.

But the magic ran out for the Wolf Pack this time.

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That's how it played out, as well, with Nevada opening up 20-8 lead with 13:36 remaining in the first half.

They've gone from 7-23 with just one win in the Horizon League in his first season to capturing the Missouri Valley Championship, from small home crowds to their first sellout in 15 years, from obscurity to center stage. This is the deepest NCAA Tournament run in the school's history.

The rout is on at the West Region in Los Angeles. Michigan's latest performance against Texas A&M makes it especially easy to be wowed, but the Wolverines aren't going to replicate their 99-point showing against the depth and length of the Seminoles, who slowed the even more potent offenses of Xavier and Gonzaga. Moe Wagner added 21 points and Charles Matthews 18 points for third-seeded MI. And yet Nevada was within ten at that point, and quickly cut into the lead further.

Most sportsbooks have MI as a 4.5-point favorite, per OddsShark. Loyola (31-5), which has won three NCAA Tournament games by a combined four points, will face Kansas State in Saturday's regional final. There has been no reason it can't be Loyola through an entire MVC season, Arch Madness and three NCAA tournament opponents. But there were more times when they just out-executed Nevada anyway.

Loyola's relentless attack on the basket continued as it stretched its lead, one layup at a time, in the second half.

Townes was backed up by 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting from Clayton Custer and 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting from Jackson, and Nevada also got 19 points from Jordan Caroline and 16 points from Cody Martin.

Loyola pushed the ball in the paint on nearly every possession. In the West, No. 7 seed Texas A&M, fresh off a blowout of 2017 national champion North Carolina, faces No. 3 seed MI.

Kansas State's dream of its first Final Four since 1964 is alive.

Loyola hit their first 12 - twelve - shots to start out the second half before Cody Martin and the Nevada Wolfpack went on a run, storming back from a 12-point deficit to tie the game at 59 with four minutes to go. As a result, we'll see an improbable 9 v 11 matchup in the Elite 8.


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