The Ramblers are tied with the Drake Bulldogs for the top spot in the MVC but must close out their college season strong to keep the pressure on. Their matchup against the Salukis will be the first of a two-game series to close out the two teams’ regular-season schedule.
Fixture: Southern Illinois Salukis vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers – NCAA Men’s Basketball
Date & Time: Friday, February 26th, 2021, 9 PM ET
Venue: Joseph J. Gentile Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Southern Illinois Salukis Preview
Following a narrow victory in their last game, the Southern Illinois Salukis will hope to keep climbing up the standings as they close out the regular season. The Salukis have not yet played the Loyola Chicago Ramblers, but they look to be a huge underdog on paper.
The Southern Illinois Salukis have accumulated a 5-11 record against conference opponents, struggling to produce offensively at times. They must bring their best basketball with them on Friday if they are going to compete with the Loyola Chicago Ramblers.
Key Player – Lance Jones
With leading scorer Marcus Domask still out with a foot injury, Lance Jones will need to take command of the Southern Illinois offense.
The 6’1″ sophomore has put up some solid numbers, averaging 13 points on 38% shooting thus far.
Although Lance Jones has done his part offensively, the Salukis have struggled to create baskets as a team. The sophomore guard will need a career performance if his team is going to compete with the red-hot Loyola Chicago Ramblers.
Southern Illinois Salukis Predicted Lineup
F Anthony D’Avanzo, C Kyler Filewich, G Steven Verplancken Jr., G Trent Brown, G Lance Jones
Loyola Chicago Ramblers Preview
After splitting a two-game set with the Drake Bulldogs, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers returned to their home court and took down Valparaiso. This victory put the Ramblers in a tie for first place in the conference, with just two games remaining.
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers should have the advantage on both ends of the floor against the Southern Illinois Salukis but still need to play a solid, clean game to come away with a win. The Ramblers have been staying under the radar but could find themselves at the top of the MVC if they stay hot at home.
Key Player – Cameron Krutwig
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers’ star big man Cameron Krutwig has been holding down the paint all season, leading his team in scoring and rebounding.
The senior center averages 15 points and 6.6 boards per game, shooting an impressive 58.5% from the field.
Standing at 6’9″, Krutwig will be at a minor size disadvantage in this matchup against the Southern Illinois Salukis.
However, Cameron Krutwig will likely pay no mind to the size difference and play for his team’s 20th victory of the season.
Loyola Chicago Ramblers Predicted Lineup
F Aher Uguak, C Cameron Krutwig, G Keith Clemons, G Braden Norris, G Lucas Williamson
Southern Illinois vs Loyola Chicago Prediction
Barring a major breakdown on both ends of the floor, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers are looking like heavy favorites in this matchup. The Southern Illinois Salukis have struggled against MVC conference opponents, while the Ramblers have dominated them.
The Loyola Chicago Ramblers should get a strong showing out of Cameron Krutwig on the way to their 15th conference win.
Where to watch Southern Illinois vs Loyola Chicago
The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.