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March Madness 2018 - How to Watch Kansas State vs Loyola: game time, tv, radio, streaming, odds, trivia

In the home whites for the second time in a week, the Cats take aim at the Final Four. Plus: a brief history lesson on Loyola.

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Seriously, Sister Jean has been a great story.
Seriously, Sister Jean has been a great story.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be super honest with one another here.

Nobody expected to make it this far. An unbridled optimist may have expected K-State to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, but — especially with Dean Wade on the shelf, this draw was just too difficult. Virginia, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Arizona... the Cats were going to stumble somewhere.

Only they didn’t, because they never played any of those teams.

And now here we are, for the second time in a decade, preparing for the possibility of what for most of us is an unprecedented feat in our lifetimes: watching our team make a trip to the Final Four.

If it doesn’t happen, at least we won’t be bitter about losing to some smarmy head coach of some despicable blueblood program. Indeed, just like UMBC before them, Loyola is an eminently likable program with a history which, although little-remembered, is rich and eventful. Which means that for the second time in a week, K-State is the team everyone but K-State fans hates.

You’re probably aware that Loyola’s last trip to the Final Four was in 1963, a year before K-State’s last visit. What you probably do not know is how key Loyola was in the destruction of the final set of racial barriers in the college game.

The Ramblers were the first program to break what had previously been an unspoken agreement to only play three black players at any one time. In their championship season, they were the first team to start four black players, and the first to have five black players on the court at one time. Their Sweet Sixteen game against Mississippi State only took place because the Bulldogs defied a Mississippi court order barring them from taking the court against a segregated team.

Pretty cool.

Interestingly, that was Loyola’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament, although they had made three prior trips to the NIT in an era when the NIT was indisputably the more prestigious event. They’d even come just seconds away from winning the 1949 NIT, losing to San Francisco by a mere point. Yet this is just the eleventh year in which the Ramblers have reached the postseason.

Most of those appearances took place in the 1960s and, later, in the early 1980s when they and Xavier fought for dominance as charter members of what is now the Horizon League. In the first eight seasons of that conference, Loyola or Xavier won seven regular-season titles.

Evansville then surpassed Loyola as Xavier’s main rival, before both the Aces and Musketeers left for the Valley and Atlantic 10 respectively in the mid-90s. But by that time, Butler was about to assert its dominance over the Horizon, and thus 1985 ended up being Loyola’s last trip to the NCAA tournament... until last weekend.

The game

Kansas State (25-11, 10-8 Big 12), the ninth seed, faces the 11-seeded Loyola Ramblers (31-5, 15-3 MVC) in the South Region Championship Game of the NCAA Tournament. This series could be tied after tonight, should things go wrong for K-State; the Wildcats lead 5-4. They’re 4-0 in Manhattan, but 4-1 in Chicago. This is the first-ever post-season meeting. In regional finals, K-State has an all-time record of 4-8, and has lost six straight. Loyola has played in only one previous regional final; they won that game, of course, in 1963.


The game opened as a pick ‘em, but K-State is now a 1½-point favorite, with an over of 126½. That means Vegas is looking at a something like a 64-62 K-State win. OddsShark disagrees, expecting Loyola to prevail 65-63. KenPom also gives Loyola a one-point edge, while ESPN says K-State has a 51% chance to win.

In other words, everyone is in agreement that you all need your nitro pills handy tonight.


Saturday, March 24 at 5:09pm CT, Phillips Arena (21,000) in Atlanta, Georgia.


Pundits immediately began joking about a half-empty arena the second K-State upended Kentucky on Thursday night, but (just as an example, no endorsement intended) Vivid Seats has exactly 17 tickets available, ranging from $116 to $382.


TBS with Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, and Lisa Byington.


Two options: K-State Sports Network, with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber, or Westwood One with Brandon Gaudin and John Thompson. The latter team will be carried on the satellite feed (Sirius 137/XM 201).


Video streaming via March Madness Live (also available as a mobile app), Hulu, CBS All Access (subject to regional availability), and Fubo. Again, K-State claims audio streaming of its own broadcast is available via, but nah. The NCAA is another horrible entity using StatBroadcast, so you’ll have to get live stats from a regular website like ESPN.