- Michigan State is a 2.5-point favorite over Loyola Chicago on Wednesday in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament
- The winner will play #19 Auburn or #22 Connecticut
- The matchup and odds can be found below with a prediction
Loyola Chicago will try to keep its spotless record intact when it faces Michigan State at 12:00 p.m. ET Wednesday in a first-round game at the Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Loyola (4-0) has won its four games by an impressive average margin of 30.8 points. However, this will be the Ramblers’ first game against a team from a power conference.
Michigan State (3-1) has won three games in a row since losing to Kansas in its opener at the Champions Classic in New York.
The winner moves on to the semifinals to play #19 Auburn (3-0) or Connecticut (4-0) on Thursday. The losers will meet in a losers’ bracket game.
Michigan State is a small favorite in a game televised by ESPN.
Loyola Chicago vs Michigan State Odds
|Loyola Chicago||+126||+2.5 (-108)||Over 139.5 (-110)|
|Michigan State||-152||-2.5 (-112)||Under 139.5 (-110)|
Odds as of November 23rd at FanDuel.
Schwieger Gives Loyola Boost
Loyola returns four starters from a team that went to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season. Yet transfer Ryan Schwieger has emerged as the Ramblers’ leading scorer.
The senior forward is averaging 14.8 points a game after playing three seasons at Princeton.
— Loyola Men's Basketball (@RamblersMBB) November 17, 2021
Schwieger has scored 22 points in each of Loyola’s last two games, including last Saturday’s 80-63 win over Illinois Choice in which he logged 25 minutes off the bench.
Senior forward Aher Uguak gives Loyola a veteran inside presence and has a 13.5 scoring average.
Senior guard Lucas Williamson is stuffing the stat sheet after winning Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season. He has averages of 10.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals.
Against Illinois-Chicago, Williamson finished with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Lucas Williamson with a big-time three ♨️
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 27, 2021
Junior guard Braden Norris added 12 points as the Ramblers made 52.7% (29 of 55) of their field goal attempts and went 8 of 14 (57.1%) from three-point range. They committed just six turnovers.
Senior Duo Leading Sparty
The duo of senior forwards Gabe Brown and Marcus Bingham Jr. have been leading the way for Michigan State.
Brown is averaging a team-high 14.0 points a game to go with 1.8 steals.
In Saturday’s 83-59 victory over Eastern Michigan, Bingham had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. He also spearheaded the defense with four blocked shots and two steals.
Marcus Bingham Jr. was swatting shots all over the Breslin Center on Thursday against GVSU.
🏀6 blocks pic.twitter.com/WoGKhfz90T
— Jason Hutton (@jhutt5) November 5, 2021
So far in the young season, Bingham has averages of 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.8 steals.
Brown added 10 points and four steals against Eastern Michigan.
Freshman guard Max Christie scored 13 points and lifted his season average to 11.5 Junior forward Malik Hall had 15 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes before fouling out.
Michigan State won by 24 points despite shooting a season-low 44.1% as it connected on 30 of 68 tries. The Spartans were also just 4 for 17 (23.5%) on three-pointers.
However, Michigan State held Eastern Michigan to 37.1% shooting (23 of 62) and forced 23 turnovers. The Spartans turned those giveaways into 26 points.
Home games in November ✅ pic.twitter.com/oUy0cFbJd0
— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) November 21, 2021
Michigan State scored the last seven points of the first half to take a commanding 49-31 lead.
Loyola vs Michigan State Prediction
Michigan State has won the last four meetings with Loyola, including an 87-52 blowout at home during the 2014-15 season in the most recent game.
This game figures to be a lot closer but look for the Spartans to cover the small against the relatively untested Ramblers.
The Pick: Michigan State -2.5 (-110)
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