Sports

Loyola Men’s Basketball to Meet San Francisco In a Clash of Mid-Major Programs

Zack Miller | Loyola PhoenixThe Loyola men's basketball team is looking to return to the court Jan. 6 against University of San Fransisco.

The Loyola men’s basketball team (9-2, 1-0) added another non-conference competitor to its schedule when it coordinated a competition against the University of San Francisco (USF) Jan. 6.

Loyola Athletics announced the scheduling change Jan. 4, after the Ramblers’ had their Jan. 5 game against Illinois State University canceled due to COVID-19 concerns within the Redbirds program.

This will be the sixth time the Ramblers and Dons will face off, with Loyola holding the 3-2 edge in the series. The last time the two teams met was in 2010, when Loyola defeated USF in a one-point decision 63-62 in San Francisco. 

USF is off to a successful start of the 2021-2022 season with a 13-1 record as the team was dealt its only loss this season in a narrow 48-49 decision against Grand Canyon University Dec. 18. 

Both teams compete in mid-major conferences, with USF holding membership in the West Coast Conference (WCC). USF is currently ranked No. 2 in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll, while Loyola takes the No. 3 spot.

The Dons have yet to meet a WCC competitor this season, after their games against Saint Mary’s College Jan. 1 and Gonzaga University Jan. 6 were postponed in response to COVID-19 concerns within both opposing programs. 

Although USF ranks above Loyola in the College Insider Poll, the Ramblers beat the Dons out in several other national polls. In the AP Top 25 Poll released Jan. 3, Loyola received 40 votes to come at an unofficial No. 28, while USF received three votes. 

Loyola comes in at No. 18 in the NET Rankings and No. 22 in the KenPom Rankings, while USF falls at No. 34 and 36, respectively.

The two teams are set to meet on the road at Salt Lake Community College at 1 p.m. CT. Broadcast details have not been released.

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