Miller: Oregon State vs. Loyola Chicago Preview

Posted on March 27, 2021


  By Dane Miller, SportsPac12

The Pac-12 dominated the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, posting a 10-1 record through the first two rounds.

Four of the Conference’s five teams advanced to the Sweet 16, with at least one program guaranteed a spot in the Elite Eight—due to the USC-Oregon matchup in the West bracket.

The historic run continues today in the Sweet 16, as Oregon State takes on Loyola-Chicago.

The Beavers haven’t been to the Elite Eight since 1982, though that accomplishment was subsequently vacated by the NCAA, technically giving OSU the chance to achieve heights it hasn’t seen since 1975.

And with victories over Tennessee and Oklahoma State already under their belt, Wayne Tinkle’s players are confident in their ability to get it done.

I preview that game here, and my pick, along with Nick Bartlett’s, Stephen Vilardo’s, and Anthony Gharib’s appear at the bottom.


No. 12 Oregon State v. No. 8 Loyola-Chicago

Sweet 16
Saturday, March 27th
11:40am PT, CBS

The Ramblers are one of the nation’s best shooting teams, and they get it done by committee.

Other than big-man Cameron Krutwig, each of Loyola’s rotational players average less than ten points per game. But all six put up roughly the same numbers—between seven and eight points per night.

The multi-headed dragon is similar to Tennessee’s lineup, who the Beavers dealt with convincingly from start to finish.

Krutwig

But Krutwig is a 6-foot-9, 255-pound center that effectively passes the ball out of the block and paint, setting up his teammates for open looks.

The senior had five assists against Illinois, while generating four steals and 12 rebounds to go along with his 19 points.

Similar to USC’s Evan Mobley, the leader of Loyola-Chicago is a matchup nightmare.

Silva

Wayne Tinkle’s primary task figures to be assigning the right man to defend him. Roman Silva has a height advantage, but may be too slow to keep up with him on the blocks. And Warith Alatishe is athletic enough to stick with Krutwig, yet gives up height and strength.

In the end, frustrating the Rambler guards might be the key to victory.

A big-man is only as good as his distributors make him, and ineffective ball-handlers render a strong inside presence mostly meaningless.

In that sense, the matchup to watch is arguably Oregon State’s defense against Lucas Williamson and Braden Norris. The duo combine for 5.2 assists per game and 17.2 points per contest, while sitting first and third in minutes played.

If Tinkle schemes up a game plan to make life miserable for the two guards—possibly through a pressure zone—it’s not unreasonable to imagine an OSU victory.

And after arguably being snubbed in the Pac-12’s Coach of the Year voting, Tinkle has proven time and time again that he has the coaching talent to get it done.

Why not one more time?




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