Similar Styles - Loyola

The NCAA Tournament is quickly approaching and let's face it, most of the Chicago teams have no shot. The only way any of the Chicago-area schools is going to make the tournament this season after Northwestern's loss at Wisconsin is by winning their respective conference tournaments. Well, that sucks. But you should still watch the tournament. The opening weekend is the best event in sports. If you're a fan of a particular school you probably enjoy watching that particular style of play, so why not root for someone similar?

That's what bring me to this new series. I'm going to be looking at a series of Doppelgangers. Schools that play similar styles - in terms of how they score their points and how they allow others to score points. Then maybe you can pick your favorite.

For instance, here are the schools that profile very similar to Loyola on offense this season:

  1. Lipscomb - Currently 12-6 in the Atlantic Sun, might win the conference tournament.
  2. Fresno State - 13-15, 6-7 in the WAC, forget about it.
  3. Valparaiso - 15-15 now, 10-7 in the Horizon League, might as well root for Loyola.
  4. Creighton - Yup, that school Loyola lost to in BracketBusters looks very similar, but better.
  5. Northern Iowa - The MVC regular season champs. Root for these guys.
  6. Montana St. - The Bobcats are 4th in the Big Sky, probably not happening.
  7. Missouri - The Tigers are the first major conference school. Good choice!

After the jump. Schools that are similar on defense and overall!

Teams that are similar to Loyola on defense:

  1. The Citadel - 15-13, not making it out of Southern Conference.
  2. Liberty - 14-14, not making it out of the Big South.
  3. Long Island - 12-15, might make a run through the NEC.
  4. Notre Dame - Irish still hanging on to slim at-large hopes, probably NIT bound.
  5. Northern Iowa - There are the Panthers again.

And thus the teams that are similar to Loyola overall - projected NCAA or possible NCAA team:

  1. Northern Iowa
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Portland

If any of these three schools make the tournament they might offer a style of play that Loyola fans would find interesting and familiar. Certainly the all-offense, no-defense game of the Fighting Irish resembles Loyola on a bad day. Also, the Panthers are so stylistically similar to the Ramblers that you'll feel right at home watching Ben Jacobsen's taller, more talented team.

Just something to think about as the NCAA Tournament rolls around.

Tomorrow: Tuesday Truths and Northwestern Doppelgangers

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