The 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago Rambers will face the third-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the first of two Final Four tilts. Who will win? Should you bet on the darling Ramblers or the blue chip Wolverines? Will either team cover the 6-point March Madness betting spread? Should you wager on the over or under on the 128.5-point game total? Keep reading for answers to those questions and more!
Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs Michigan Wolverines Final Four Spread & ATS Pick
#11 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers vs #3 Michigan Wolverines
When: Saturday, March 31st, 2018
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Spread: Michigan -6
Moneyline: Loyola +226 vs Michigan -254
I am a believer in Sister Jean and the Loyola of Chicago Ramblers! The previously unknown team that hails from the shores of Lake Michigan. A small Jesuit university with an enrollment of just over 16,000. The one-and-done squad from the lowly Missouri Valley Conference. A true Cinderella team. The little school that could.
Don’t be fooled. This team is not a fluke. They aren’t winning because of calls going their way, streaky shooting or lucky bounces. If Loyola can continue to out-shoot, out-pass and out-defend, a +226 moneyline bet will be a winner.
The Ramblers won 32 games this season. Their first three tournament wins came by a combined four points. They blew ninth-seeded K-State out, 78-62.
History, however, is not on the Ramblers’ side. Loyola matched three other teams as the lowest-seeded team ever to reach the Final Four. LSU (1986), George Mason (2006) and VCU (2011) are all eleven seeds that lost in the Final Four.
Does that mean you should bet against the upset-happy Ramblers even after they outlasted four top seeds including overall No. 1 Virginia.
“I’m going to San Antonio,” Sister Jean said. “That’s going to be great.”
Standing in Loyola’s way are the Michigan Wolverines.
What will it take for the blue & maize to slow down the team of destiny?
Michigan has been a chameleon of sorts so far. Adjusting their play to match their opponent. Beating teams with defense, discipline, and tenacity when shots don’t fall and they haven’t been falling consistently so far in the tournament.
“We can play it any way,” Wolverine center Mo Wagner said. “If we play good defense, we can beat anyone. If our shots fall, we can beat anyone.”
2018 marks Michigan’s second trip to the Final Four under coach John Beilein. He led the program back to March Madness relevance in 2009 after an 11-year absence. Then in 2013, the Wolverines reached the championship game only to lose to Louisville. The Cardinals were later forced to vacate that title.
Final Four ATS Pick: Loyola +6