Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Duke’s Zion Williamson (1) and RJ Barrett (5)
The ACC-Big Ten Challenge rolls along Tuesday evening, with Duke hosting Indiana after the Blue Devils’ thrilling loss to Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational. But first, Nevada visits Loyola-Chicago in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge — a rematch of their thrilling Sweet 16 contest from a campaign ago.
How will these matchups boil down? Let’s dig in.
>> All odds as of 11 p.m. ET on Monday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets
Betting odds: Nevada Wolf Pack at Loyola-Chicago Ramblers
- Spread: Nevada -5.5
- Over/under: 149
- Tip: 8 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPNews/Watch ESPN
After ranking seventh overall in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (AjO) last season, the Wolf Pack (4-1 against the spread) enter this game with the highest AjO in the country despite point guard Lindsey Drew still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Without three impactful defensive pieces from last season — Ben Richardson, Donte Ingram and Aundre Jackson — the Ramblers (2-4 ATS) will struggle to stick with Nevada’s lengthy position-less lineup that’s led by the 6-foot-7 Caleb Martin (21.0 points per game). Not only is Martin the Wolf Pack’s top scorer, but he also owns the 95th-highest Assist Rate (31.1%) in Division I.
What Eric Musselman’s unit didn’t present a season ago was a boatload of size in the frontcourt. The program reeled in two big men transfers and 6-foot-11 five-star Jordan Brown. Although Brown has yet to assert himself for the bulk of playing time, Loyola-Chicago’s tallest player within its consistent rotation is the 6-foot-9 Cameron Krutwig.