Two teams that began the 2017-18 college basketball season unranked will meet for a spot in the national championship on Saturday, as Michigan and Loyola-Chicago battle it out in the Final Four.
The game is scheduled to start at about 6:09 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on TBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game, as well as other NCAA tournament games, live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
DirecTV Now: TBS is included in all of DirecTV Now’s four main channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including TBS. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
Sling TV: TBS is included in both the “Sling Blue” and “Sling Orange” channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of either, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Note: You can also watch any tournament game on your computer via the March Madness Live website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the March Madness Live app. To watch these streams, you’ll have a free preview before needing to sign in to a TV provider to keep watching, but if you don’t have cable, you can do this by logging in with your Hulu credentials.
Despite what the seed lines may say, or the fact that Michigan is favored by 5.5 points, these teams actually mirror each other quite well.
They both generally play at a slower pace–Loyola ranks 315th in the country in adjusted tempo, while Michigan is 326th–but have shown this tournament that they don’t mind speeding things up if the situation calls for it. And while they tend to limit possessions, they also make good use of those possessions. The Ramblers are ninth in the country in two-point field-goal percentage, 11th in three-point field-goal percentage and fifth in effective field-goal percentage, while the Wolverines have the nation’s third-best turnover percentage and are 30th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. And they both defend really well, as Michigan is fourth nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, and Loyola isn’t far behind at 19th.
Beyond the statistical breakdown, both teams are guard-heavy, they thrive on penetration and ball movement, and they have impressive balance. For the Ramblers, they’ve had a different leading scorer (Clayton Custer, Aundre Jackson, Marques Towns, Ben Richardson) in each of their four NCAA tournament wins, and that doesn’t even include Donte Ingram, whose buzzer-beater against Miami is the reason the Ramblers advanced past the first round.
As for Michigan, Moe Wagner is the de-facto star, but he has struggled a bit with his shooting and scored 12 points or less in three of the four games this tournament. Meanwhile, guys like Charles Matthews and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman have come up huge in his stead, averaging a combined 30.8 points per game during their four wins.
Judging from what we’ve seen this tournament, this isn’t likely to turn into an up-tempo shootout. But it will almost assuredly feature high-level basketball on both ends of the court, coming down to who can execute better out of their half-court sets. It may be the “less sexy” of the two Final Four matchups, but basketball purists will have a tough time finding anything better than this.
Source: Heavy Sports