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The Other Top 25: Loyola Chicago jumps into top 10

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With their win in the Missouri Valley Championship, the Ramblers jump eight spots to No. 8

NCAA Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference Championship- Loyola Ramblers vs Drake Bulldogs
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player Lucas Williamson celebrates with first-year head coach Drew Valentine after the Ramblers’ title game victory.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s March, which means Sister Jean and Loyola Chicago are winning tournament games. The fourth-seeded Ramblers won the Missouri Valley Championship at Arch Madness this weekend.

After knocking off Bradley in the quarterfinals, they routed top seed Northern Iowa 66-43 in the semifinals Saturday. They limited the Panthers to 23% shooting and won the rebounding battle by 10. Loyola held UNI without a field goal for the final 15:12 of the game. Braden Norris netted a game-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting and 4-of-6 from 3-point land.

Loyola Chicago defeated No. 3 Drake 64-58 in the title game Sunday. The victory secured the program’s first back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament since the 1963 and 1964 seasons. Trailing by 10 points midway through the first half, the Ramblers scored 19 straight to jump in front. Lucas Williamson posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds on his way to being named the tournament’s most outstanding player.

Over the course of the three games, the Ramblers held its opponents to 50.3 points per game, 30% shooting and 20% from 3-point land.

Three teams entered the top 25. SMU came in at No. 16. New Mexico State jumped to 18. Bryant debuted at 24.

The Mustangs secured the No. 2 seed at this week’s American Athletic Conference Tournament. After consecutive losses, the Aggies closed out the regular season with win over Utah Valley to claim a share of the WAC regular season title. Winners of six straight, the Bulldogs won its first NEC regular season title and have advanced to the conference championship game Tuesday night against Wagner at home.

The Other Top 25: March 7, 2022

Rank Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Previous
Rank Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Previous
1 Gonzaga (3) 24-3 75 1
2 Houston 26-5 70 2
3 Murray State 30-2 69 4
4 Saint Mary's 24-6 68 3
T-5 Boise State 24-7 55 5
T-5 Colorado State 24-4 55 8
7 South Dakota State 28-4 53 10
8 Loyola Chicago 25-7 50 16
T-9 Wyoming 24-7 47 6
T-9 Davidson 25-5 47 7
11 San Francisco 24-8 39 12
12 Vermont 26-5 33 15
13 Iona 25-6 32 11
14 Dayton 22-9 30 T-20
15 North Texas 23-5 25 9
16 SMU 22-7 23 NR
17 Chattanooga 26-7 20 22
18 New Mexico State 24-6 18 NR
T-19 UAB 24-7 16 23
T-19 San Diego State 21-7 16 17
T-21 VCU 21-8 15 14
T-22 Memphis 19-9 15 25
23 Ohio 23-8 14 T-18
24 Bryant 21-9 13 NR
25 Toledo 25-6 12 T-20

Also receiving votes:

Drake 11; Belmont 10; Longwood 9; Missouri State 7; Morehead State 6, Santa Clara 6; Richmond 5; Colgate 3; Saint Louis 3; Northern Iowa 2; Furman 2; BYU 1

Dropped from ranking:

Belmont; BYU; Richmond