DALLAS — Tennessee basketball lost its fight to get to the Sweet 16, falling victim to March Madness in a 63-62 loss to Loyola Chicago in the NCAA Tournament at American Airlines Center.
Grant Williams scored on a three-point play with 20 seconds left to give the Vols their first lead since the first half, 22-21.
But the Ramblers came back Clayton Custer hitting a jumper with 3.6 seconds left.
Jordan Bone’s last-second shot from the top of the key rattled out, and the celebration was on for the No. 11-seed Ramblers.
Loyola Chicago 61, Vols 59, 1:44: Lamonte Turner 3-pointer tightens it up, timeout Ramblers.
Loyola Chicago 58, Vols 51, 3:35: Schofield just hit a 3-pointer after the Ramblers had taken their largest lead of the game, 58-48, but time is running out on Tennessee.
Loyola Chicago 53, Vols 48, 5:21: Jordan Bone with a big jumper, and he’s 5-of-8 for 11 points, keeping Tennessee in it. Admiral picked up with fourth foul at 6:47 mark.
Loyola Chicago 53, Vols 46, 6:54: Rick Barnes is trying everything, recently going with guards Lamonte Turner, Jordan Bone and James Daniel to go with Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams. Loyola Chicago is just more efficient and is holding its own in the paint. Tennessee hasn’t let since there was 6 minutes left in the first half.
Loyola Chicago 50, Vols 41, 10:00: It’s an 11-1 run for Loyola. Bruno Skokna with a 3-pointer from the corner and the Ramblers have matched their largest lead of the game, triggering a Rick Barnes timeout. Tennessee is struggling to get to the rim, getting outscored in the paint 18-16 and out-rebounded 20-18. Loyola is carving up the Vols defense, 19-of-35 shooting (54.3 percent).
Loyola Chicago 43, Vols 39, 11:49: Tennessee is heating up, on a 10-5 run after falling behind 38-29 on an Ingram 3-pointer. Lamonte has hit a 3-pointer and a jumper, 2-3 shooting this half.
Loyola Chicago 38, Vols 32: Grant Williams has picked up two fouls this half, that’s not a good sign for the Vols. The Ramblers led by as many as 9 points on a Donte Ingram triple, 38-29, but Jordan Bowden split a pair of free throws and Williams just hit a hook.
SECOND HALF STATS TO WATCH
• Loyola Chicago is 20-0 when leading at halftime and has won 11 in a row.
• The Vols guards were a combined 1-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half: Bone (1-2), Turner (0-3), Daniel (0-2) and Bowden (0-1).
Tennessee’s going to need start hitting the perimeter shots with Loyola Chicago collapsing and double down inside.
Loyola Chicago 29, Vols 25 (HALFTIME): Jordan Bone with the baseline jumper with 34 seconds left in the half was Tennessee’s first field goal since he hit a 3-pointer at the 6:44 mark. Vols jumped out to that 15-6 lead, but Loyola Chicago out-adjusted them, and when Admiral Schofield pick up his second foul and went to the bench at 11:56, Tennessee struggled.
Loyola Chicago 27, Vols 23 (2:57): Tennessee turning the ball over, and Barnes gambles putting Schofield back into the game with 2 fouls at the 5-minute mark. Tennessee’s last FG was at the 6:44 mark, a Jordan Bone 3-pointer.
Vols 19, Loyola Chicago 16 (7:05): The Ramblers are out-rebounding Tennessee 10-7, that’s a surprise. The Vols shot selection has not been ideal. Hard to imagine Yves Pons was supposed to take that 3-pointer he missed.
Vols 17, Loyola Chicago 14 (9:20): Grant Williams basket ends an 8-0 Loyola run and a 6:18 scoreless streak for the Vols.
Vols 15, Loyola Chicago 12 (11:56): Schofield just picked up his second foul, not a good thing for Tennessee, which may have over-subbed early on. Rick Barnes is careful to try to avoid anyone playing over 30 minutes, wanting a fresh team late in the game.
The 🐐 in the house supporting the alma mater 🍊 pic.twitter.com/y4IC8qHNHQ
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) March 17, 2018
Vols 15, Loyola Chicago 8 (14:44): Schofield just picked up his first foul, and Fulkerson has a foul. Rick Barnes has already gone to the bench heavily, the plan clearly to wear down the Ramblers. Big stat early, Tennessee has three steals, did their homework.
Vols 15-Loyola Chicago 6 (15:37): Admiral Schofield opened the game with a 3-pointer, and he just had a steal and breakaway slam dunk, and the Vols are off and running. Schofield with 11 points — three 3-pointers and that dunk.
Kyle Alexander a surprise scratch
The first surprise of the day is John Fulkerson started in place of Kyle Alexander, who does not appear to be able to play. Alexander told everyone he was fine and he would play, so that’s a surprise.
Tennessee carried out the fake by listing Alexander on their official lineup card, too.
Tennessee basketball vs. Loyola Chicago game time, info
- Time: Tipoff is at 6:10 p.m. ET, March 17, 2018
- Location: America Airlines Center, Dallas
- Records: No. 3 seed Tennessee 26-8; No. 11 seed Loyola Chicago 29-5
- Television: The game can be seen on TNT
Tennessee basketball preview
Tennessee has talked about being locked in on defense, and making the most of every possession, lessons learned from a rugged schedule and run to the SEC Tournament championship game.
The Vols are a 5-point favorite in this NCAA Tournament second-round South Regional contest, but they’re carrying the attitude of an underdog.
“I don’t see (Loyola Chicago) as a Cinderella team, and I don’t think any of my teammates do, either,” Tennessee sophomore guard Lamonte Turner. “You can’t let them play harder than you.
“We have to do our jobs and be on edge.”
Tennessee is one win away from matching its Sweet 16 run of four years ago, which prior to Thursday’s win over Wright State represented the program’s last appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Vols (26-8) have a worthy opponent in No. 11 seed Loyola Chicago, a Missouri Valley Conference program that has tied a school record with 29 victories.
The Ramblers advanced with a 64-62 win over No. 6-seed Miami, upsetting the Hurricanes when Donte Ingram hit a buzzer-beating 3-point shot.
“We go through those situations in practice all the time,” Ingram said. “We know it’s a full 40 minutes to play, and we all want to stay together and stay connected.”
Tennessee has more depth and talent than Loyola Chicago, but the Ramblers present some potentially difficult matchups.
The Vols’ plan is to pressure the ball and prevent Loyola Chicago from penetrating the lane.
The Ramblers say they’ll need their best low-post defense and rebounding effort to beat Tennessee.
“Our thoughts have been on Tennessee and how big and physical they are, how balanced they are,” Loyola Chicago coach Porter Moser said. “They’ve got size, they’ve got speed, they’ve got shooters and they’re well-coached.
“We’re going to need a tremendous effort on the glass. We’re gonna need tremendous effort post-defense wise.”
Tennessee basketball stories from Dallas