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No. 8 Loyola-Chicago vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech preview for NCAA Tournament first-round matchup

The No. 8 Loyola-Chicago and No. 9 Georgia Tech face off in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

Loyola Ramblers head coach Porter Moser discusses a call with an NCAA referee during the second half at the Kohl Center. Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, March 18th with the First Four, and then moves on to the first round on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. The No. 8 seed Loyola-Chicago Ramblers will face the No. 9 seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first round. Game time has yet to be announced but we will update this article with that and game odds as soon as it comes available. For now, we’ve got a preliminary preview of the two teams to get you ready for March Madness!

Once the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Friday, March 19
Game time: 4:00 p.m. ET
TV channel: TBS
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse

Odds: Loyola-Chicago -1.5
Over/Under: 127.5

No. 8 Loyola-Chicago

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers find themselves in the NCAA Tournament once again, and they should be a dangerous team no matter the opponent. Loyola is exceptional on the defensive end of the floor where the Ramblers rank No. 2 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency ratings. They won’t be the most talented team if they play one of the powers in college basketball to make another big run, but they play as hard as any team in the country.

Loyola won the regular season title in a competitive Missouri Valley Conference with a fun battle with the Drake Bulldogs. The Rambles are led by senior big man Cameron Krutwig, who is putting up 15 points per game and is the only player on the team averaging more than eight points. He also leads the team in rebounding, assists and blocks. Loyola ranks No. 9 in the latest KenPom ratings.

Record: 24-4, 16-2 MVC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 48
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 2
ATS: 16-9-1
Over Total: 12-14
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +4500

No. 9 Georgia Tech

The Ramblin’ Wreck win their first ACC Championship in 28 years, and are heading back to the NCAA Tournament. Senior forward Moses Wright is the ACC Player of The Year, and Jose Alvarado is one of the best leaders in all of college basketball, and the ACC champs might lead the nation in defensive deflections.

Record: 17-8, 11-6 ACC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 27
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 52
ATS: 15-10Over Total: 14-9-2
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +4000