Loyola vs. Kansas State: Matchups, lineups, prediction for Saturday's Elite Eight game

Following a pair of last second victories against Miami and Tennessee in the first weekend of play, Loyola-Chicago once again found themselves in a nail biter in last night's Sweet 16 matchup against the #7 Nevada Wolfpack.

The Wildcats punched their ticket to the Elite Eight for the first time in eight years with Thursday's 61-58 win over No.5 Kentucky as 5-point underdogs, establishing their first three-game SU win streak in over a month. They're all smiles with the 11th-seeded Ramblers holding a 9-point lead over Nevada with just under 12 minutes remaining. At the half, Loyola Chicago had a marginal 4-point lead, with the game set at 28-24. The Ramblers forced six turnovers by halftime, held Nevada to 33.3 percent shooting on 27 attempts, and held the Wolfpack scoreless for the final seven minutes and 55 seconds of the opening half.

Townes said he was fine after banging knees with Nevada's Jordan Caroline at the end of the game.

Loyola pushed the ball inside on nearly every possession. Dean Wade saw limited action after returning from a foot injury, but still leads Kansas State with an average of 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while Brown is the Wildcats' top assist man with 3.3 assists per game this season.

In the second half, the Wolf Pack doubled down on a smothering defense that forced Loyola into three shot-clock violations and another half-dozen hurried, off-balance attempts.

After the half, Loyola literally couldn't miss.

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Still, despite the ideal start, the Ramblers only briefly took a double-digit lead before Nevada sliced it back down below 10.

"Everything started working", said Jackson, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half.

Cody Martin's basket started a 12-2 run, and his layup tied the game at 59-all with 4:06 remaining. Loyola took a 46-34 advantage in points in the paint.

Jerry Harkness, Hunter, John Egan and Rich Rochelle sat together in front-row seats at Philips Arena. In the final minutes of the game, Harkness could be heard saying, "We need a stop".

We've also been repeatedly reminded just how deep this team is.

The Ramblers are moving on to face Nevada after two breathtaking victories, a run that has captivated college basketball and turned 98-year-old team chaplain Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt into a celebrity.

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After the Ramblers beat Nevada on Thursday to reach the Elite Eight, one of the team's players, Clayton Custer, reminded her that she had picked them to lose. As a team, Loyola-Chicago is scoring 71.8 points per game while owning the 3rd-best field goal percentage in the country at 50.7% shooting from the field, in addition to 39.7% from behind the arc and 71.9% from the foul line this season.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 24 points, Moe Wagner added 21 points and Charles Matthews had 18 points as third-seeded MI had five players in double figures.

The rout was on by halftime with MI leading 52-28. Tyler Davis led the seventh-seeded Aggies (22-13) with 24 points.

LONG TIME COMING: The Ramblers' lone Final Four appearance came when they won the championship in 1963.

Rui Hachimura scored 16 points to lead Gonzaga.

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  • Jill Young