NCAA tournament Loyola-Chicago's Cinderella story will be a minor underdog against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday night just because the Ramblers are in uncharted territory. This is not their first Final Four appearance – they made one in 1963, but it's only the fourth time in tournament history that an 11-seed has progressed so far. Even so, Loyola-Chicago has a legitimate shot to win this game and it starts with those three keys.
The Ramblers are doing it, but their 78-62 win over Kansas State last Saturday only shows what a great defense this squad can do. Loyola-Chicago kept the Wildcats 35 percent off the ground, prompting the Ramblers' offensive ̵
This is a drastic difference from the previous three games that the Ramblers played in the tournament and were only decided with two or fewer points. Take a look at Loyola-Chicago's opponent's shooting percentage in these nail bangers:
- Nevada: 41 percent
- Tennessee: 46 percent
- Miami: 51 percent
If Loyola-Chicago is stingy on the defense, the offense can be productive without having to worry about which shots to take, when it's a close game.
"The first focus is on defense for us," said Ramblers point guard Clayton Custer after beating Kansas State. "Yes, people talk about our distance and the way we move the ball and how selfless we are, which I think is expected because we do a good job, but I think, maybe – yes, our defense is definitely the key to winning these games. "
The Ramblers, best known for being one of Loyola-Chicago's top defensive players, have benefited as Richardson has campaigned for offense in the Elite 8 finished with a career -high 23 points against K-State and shot 70 percent off the floor.
"I always tell Ben that he has to shoot every single game," Custer said about the Chicago Tribune.
Richardson has paid the advice of his teammate very well over the past week.
"I have to thank my teammates for finding me," Richardson said after the game. We have so many selfless guys and we have so many guns and as we said, it can be every night, as we have shown at this tournament so far, each one of them has a big night I was in a rhythm and they found me, so I just kept shooting, they went down and it was a great game, the biggest game of my life. "
The Wolverine Guard, who died at 6 & # 39; 39; 6 stands taller than all the Ramblers' guards, so he will be a defensive challenge. Whenever Matthews is hot, his team is fine too. In the last two victories in Michigan against Florida State and Texas A & M he has collected 35 points and has collected 74 points during the tournament. He also led the team this past weekend in rebounds.