Loyola vs Drake Preview- This upcoming weekend, two of the top teams in Mid Major basketball meet. The Drake Bulldogs take on the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers in a matchup or the two best Missouri Valley Conference teams. Drake is 18-1, coming off their first loss at Valparaiso, losing 74-57. Loyola is trending in the right direction, as they have won 10 straight MVC games. They currently sit at the top of the Missouri Valley at 10-1.
Drake was ranked 25th last week in the Associated Press poll, but fell out after their loss. Loyola surged to 22nd in the country this week, getting the highest rank in the Missouri Valley Conference since 2017. Wichita State was the last MVC team to be ranked higher, before they left for the American Athletic Conference. Currently Drake is sitting at 32 in the NET rankings, and Loyola Chicago is 14th. Drake is looking to bounce back and pick up a huge win after a rough weekend with Valparaiso. For this to happen they need to shoot very well. Recently they have been very inconstant from behind the arc, as last week in a win over Illinois State, they shot a brutal 4/30 from three.
Darnell Brodie has been a key factor in the Bulldogs 18-1 start, as he has averaged 7.4 points and 7.4 rebounds a game. He will need to have two great games in order to take down Loyola as they have arguably one of the best centers throughout the mid major level, Cameron Krutwig. Krutwig is a 6’9, 255 pound senior at Loyola. He has earned back to back first team all MVC honors and is getting even better, averaging 15.5 points and 6.1 rebounds this season. He also has four 20+ point performances throughout the season. Loyola Chicago forward Aher Uguak is another player to watch out for the Ramblers. Uguak recently put up an impressive 14-12 double double in a win over Evansville. Drake needs Tremell Murphy to impress this game as he struggled in the Valparaiso games. Loyola is a great team, along with Drake and neither one of them are going to go down without a fight in what could possibly be a preview of the Arch Madness championship game.
Both Games will be on ESPN 2, with Saturday’s game being at 11am while Sundays will be at 2pm.