In this week’s version of Assist Map Monday, we examine 11 seed Loyola University Chicago’s matchup over 9 seed Kansas State in the first ever game between a 9 seed and an 11 seed. On Friday, March 23rd, Loyola defeated Kansas State 78-62, leading them to the Final Four.
The Ramblers from Chicago used some terrific passing and shot-making to will themselves past the Wildcats from Manhattan, Kansas. On the season, Loyola ranks a mere 224th in points per game at 71.3 while ranking 60th in adjusted offensive efficiency in the country. However, in this game the Ramblers managed to shoot 27-47 from the field (57.4%) including 9-18 from the three-point line. On the other side of the ball, the Ramblers rank 18th in adjusted defensive efficiency, which they demonstrated well in this game, holding Kansas State to 23-66 (34.8%) from the field as well as 6-26 (23.1%) from beyond the arc. The combination of a normally great defense with a surprising offensive clinic led Loyola to a 16-point defeat over Kansas State.
The Ramblers displayed a very balanced passing attack, as all five starters contributed with at least one assist on the game. Junior guard Clayton Custer led the team with five, distributed fairly evenly among Cameron Krutwig, Ben Richardson, Donte Ingram, and Lucas Williamson. In addition to his 23 points, senior guard Ben Richardson also dished out four assists—one to each of Cameron Krutwig, Clayton Custer, Marques Townes, and Aundre Jackson. Junior guard Marques Townes contributed three assists to Cameron Krutwig, Ben Richardson, and Donte Ingram. When they play Michigan in the Final Four on Saturday, the Ramblers will have to rely on not only their stifling defense but also their newfound offensive power, including timely passing, in order to defeat the Wolverines.