Loyola and Kansas State are playing in the most unlikely Elite Eight in history when they face on Saturday night. A No. 9 seed has never played a No. 11 seed in the men's NCAA tournament.
The No. 11 seed Ramblers have generated national excitement as the double-digit seed one game away from the Final Four. But Loyola still has to win a tough matchup against one of the best defensive teams in the country in Bruce Weber's ballclub.
Tempo is still one of the major factors for Loyola playing in its ultimate comfort zone. Thankfully for the Ramblers, No. 9 seed Kansas State is an ideal tempo matchup. Both teams like to play very slow.
The new key for Loyola in the Elite Eight will come down to perimeter shooting. As a team this season, the Ramblers are just under 40 percent from distance. The long ball has been a big part of the team's unlikely tournament run through three games as well. With multiple floor spacers, Loyola has a lot of weapons on the perimeter.
Kansas State is going to seriously challenge the Ramblers on every shot from three-point range. The Wildcats are in the Elite Eight in-part because of their ability to defend teams off of the three-point line.
So far in the 2018 NCAA tournament, Kansas State has held opponents to 26 percent shooting (18-for-68) from three-point range. Kentucky was known as a shaky perimeter-shooting team this season. UMBC (38 percent) and Creighton (37 percent) were both respected groups who could space the floor at multiple spots. The Wildcats made all three teams shoot very poorly from the perimeter as Kansas State was able to win despite not playing its best on offense.
That means Loyola will have to work to generate open looks from three. And when the Ramblers get clean looks from the perimeter, they also need to knock them down to advance to San Antonio.
The magical run for Loyola has already made it to this point. And it could continue if the Ramblers can knock down enough threes to put the pressure on Kansas State.
The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.
The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."
A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."
The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.
In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17.
The Michigan Wolverines are hiring former Fab Five star Juwan Howard as the head coach of their basketball team. Aside from being a part of that prolific college basketball team, Howard is a two-time NBA champion with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat.
And he is a former local basketball hoops star at Chicago Vocational Career Academy, where we was named an All-American in 1991.
But the Fab Five have not been on the best of terms over the years, particularly current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. With Howard back in Ann Arbor, all beefs are officially over.
“It squashes any drama or any beef because we’re not going to bring that to Ann Arbor’s campus with Juwan Howard as our head coach," Rose told Mike Greenberg when asked about the beef Thursday morning on ESPN's Get Up. "The one thing that we both know is his success turning around the University of Michigan is first and foremost about him and about the players that he’s going to influence. Then it’s about us being there to support him, not being drama, not being splintered, not giving any indication of dysfunction.
"We’re going to move as a family and we’re going to do what we can to build on what John Beilein has established in Ann Arbor.”
Rose reiterated this point later in the day during a segment with fellow Michigan alum Adam Schefter.
Let's wait and see if Howard brings winning ways to Michigan to make this honeymoon period last, otherwise it could be back to business as usual.
Also, does Chris Webber feel the same way? Has Rose already talked to Webber to clear the air? Or is Rose just saying it's over on his side in the hopes Webber follows suit?
Both Webber and Rose made it clear that Howard was their preferred candidate, so they seem to be on the same page.
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