Nevada’s Tourney Run Ends, Fall To Loyola-Chicago 69-68
The Wolf Pack almost pulled off another double-digit comeback but this time they came up short.
Nevada’s Runs Out Of Tournament Magic, Fall to Loyola-Chicago, 69-68
The Wolf Pack were down yet again in an NCAA tournament game by double digits but this time to the Cinderella darlings from Loyola-Chicago. Nevada was yet again, chipping away at a large deficit and looked poised to complete another comeback from down ten or more points.
But the magic ran out for the Wolf Pack this time.
The Wolf Pack were down 66-65 with Loyola-Chicago having possession of the ball with under 30 seconds left took the Ramblers to the end of the shot clock but a Marques Townes three at the final seconds of the shot clock pushed the Ramblers up for good at 69-65.
Caleb Martin’s made three-pointer cut the Ramblers lead to one at 69-68 but there was no more magic for the Wolf Pack as they fell 69-68 to the Ramblers in the round of 16 thus ending the Wolf Pack’s season at 29 wins against eight losses.
It was a game of runs that was being played in Atlanta as it was the Wolf Pack who got out in front early 20-8 early in the first half but Rambles tightened up on defense and started making shots starting at the midway point of the first half. The Wolf Pack’s offense was stifled by the Ramblers defense as they went seven minutes and 55 seconds without a made field goal to close out the first in which Loyola-Chicago led by a score of 28-24.
In the second half, the Ramblers continued their solid defense on the Wolf Pack and their offense continued its blistering pace as their made their first 13 field goals in the second half to extend their lead to ten on Nevada.
But this Nevada team, like the previous two games when they were down double figures, did not give up. Led by Caleb Martin (21 points, five rebounds), Cody Martin (16 points, six rebounds, five assists), and Jordan Caroline (19 points, six rebounds) the Wolf Pack went on a 12- scoring run to tie the game up at 59-59 with 3:10 left in the game.
The Ramblers retook the lead when Aundre Jackson hit a three to make it 62-59 Loyola-Chicago with 2:57 left in the game. From there, the Wolf Pack fought hard to keep the Ramblers lead at one possession but they could not get over the double digit hump this time as the Townes three late in the game iced the game for Loyola-Chicago and sent them advancing to the Elite Eight while the Wolf Pack will head back to Reno disappointed in the outcome of this game but they should not be disappointed with the season and this tournament run.
This Wolf Pack team was an immense pleasure to cover this season. Yes, they only went seven deep (at best) and lacked a true big man in the paint, but this team played with so much intensity and heart throughout the year and showed why they are the best the Mountain West conference has to offer.
Sad to see the season end but happy for the Wolf Pack’s season and tournament run and I can’t wait to see what next season holds for this team.