TOP RATED PLAY ON:
Today we got a big rally in the Missouri Valley, baby…These two teams hate each others guts Big Time, so I am expecting nothing but a very competitive game in this one…N Iowa should be coming in still pissed after getting their “Okoles” (Hawaiian word for “a*s or butts”) kicked twice last season.
Both teams also come in on a negative slide as the Ramblers have lost 3 straight games, while the Panthers have now lost 4 straight and 8 of their last 10 games…Still, I gotta side with the home team as they have a lot more positives on the offensive end then the visiting Panthers do…Below are other reasons why I also love the Ramblers in this one.
While a lot of people were high on this Panthers team this season…I don’t think they are close to last years squad which won the MVC tourney and went to the Big Dance as a possible “Cinderella” team…No, this years team is lacking in several key areas…and one of them is in scoring, where they are struggling averaging just 63.6 ppg, which ranks 335th in the nation…The big reason for the lack of production on the offensive end is due to losing 3 double digit scorers from last year, which has also led to this N Iowa team to also shoot just 39.8% from the field.
On the road though, is where the Panthers have really struggled on the offensive end…Currently, they are just 2-6 both SU and ATS, where they are averaging a low of just 59.4 ppg, 37.5% shooting from the field and just 29.1 rebounds per game (344th in the nation)…And that also includes a very low average of just 5 offensive rebounds and just 10 assists in road games so far…In addition, in road games, the Panthers are also allowing their opponents to average 70.7 ppg, 46% shooting from the field and grab an average of 38.2 rebounds pg on them…Not Good!
Side Note: N Iowa only averages 10.2 assist per game which ranks 331st in the nation.
Side Note: N Iowa on the road has struggled losing by an average of 21.3 ppg.
Loyola-Chicago’s offense, on the other hand, is putting up some solid points as the are averaging 77.5 points per game and 50.8% shooting from the field overall…However, at home is where the Ramblers shooting gets even better as they are averaging 77.6 ppg and shooting a super solid 53% from the field, which ranks 7th in the nation.
At home, the Ramblers are also holding opponents to just 59.5 ppg, 40.7% shooting from the field and they also show their greatest asset which is their ability to control the ball…In fact, the Ramblers have a 16-to-11 assist to turnover ratio, which is one of the best…ranking 17th in nation in this category.
Side Note: N Iowa ranks 253rd the nation in assist/turnover ratio.
Side Note: Loyola-Chicago is ranked 13th in 2pt FG% shooting…while N Iowa is ranked 324th in 2pt FG% shooting.
Bottom line is both teams is coming into this one on a slide…but it will be harder for the Panthers to fix their woes in hostile territory…The Panther’s were many peoples “Cinderella” team in last season Big Dance…but this is not last season’s team as they lost 3 good players from that squad, including their solid G Washpun…This is one of the reasons why the Panthers are struggling scoring and shooting with any accuracy this season.
Tonight, I expect the Joseph J. Gentile Center to be rockin’ as the Ramblers will want to get back to their home winning ways and also show that they are the better team overall and that last season they weren’t lucky to beat the Panthers twice…Something they had to hear all off-season, especially as they weren’t the one’s who went to the Big Dance…The Ramblers are a solid team at home, where they shoot lights out (53% from the field, 7th ranked in the nation) and win their games by an average of over 10 points…N Iowa is a step down this season, while the Ramblers are two steps up…So with that said, I expect a strong win tonight by the host team as they move up the ranks of the always tough MVC standings, while the Panthers drop to 0-3 in conference play….GO RAMBLERS!
Side Note: N Iowa is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games…and 0-4 ATS on the road vs teams with a winning home record.
Side Note: N Iowa is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs teams with a home winning record greater than .600….And 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games vs teams with a winning record over .600.
Side Note: Loyola-Chicago is 7-1 SU & ATS in their last 8 home games.
Side Note: Loyola-Chicago is 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games when they lost by more than 20 points.