The Loyola men’s basketball team (24-4, 16-2) will take on Georgia Institute of Technology March 19 in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, the NCAA announced March 14.
Loyola will be a No. 8 seed and Georgia Tech will be a No. 9 seed. This is the Ramblers’ second trip in four years to the Big Dance, their first coming from the 2018 Final Four run as a No. 11 seed. Most games will be played in Indianapolis due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Following the announcement, Loyola head coach Porter Moser said in a press conference that he was simply excited to be returning to the tournament.
“This is what we’ve wanted,” Moser said. “We’ve wanted to sustain success. We wanted to get back here. You know, it’s what drives us in this program. We’ve kept on feeling the ceiling [and] we’re not there yet.”
Georgia Tech is fresh off an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament win with a 17-8 record, 11-6 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets have four players averaging in double digits and are led by senior forward Moses Wright with 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
“I was really impressed because I got a lot of respect for Florida State and for [Georgia Tech] to beat Florida State in that tournament, they were terrific,” Moser said. “I’m going to dig in tonight. I just saw them on TV. You got to be really, really good to win the ACC tournament.”
Fellow Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) team Drake University received an at-large bid after only losing four games all season. The Bulldogs will begin play in the First Four round — a play in round to determine who will play in the first round of March Madness. They’re scheduled to play former MVC team Wichita State University March 18 to battle for the 11 seed in the West Region.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the 1-seed in the Midwest Region. If Loyola wins against Georgia Tech, the two Illinois schools could play each other March 21.
While the day is set, time and location of the Loyola game against Georgia Tech have yet to be announced.