Staff Predictions: Loyola-Chicago

Western Michigan tips off against Loyola-Chicago at 5:00 p.m. today in Tampa, Florida. As the game approaches, the staff members submit their final predictions on the outcome. Every prediction calls for a close, defensive battle.
Western Michigan vs. Loyola-Chicago
Brian Persky: This was a game when the schedule was released that I circled as a pretty good indicator for where this young team is at competitively. I felt that this was a game that the Broncos could win, and despite Loyola's early success against MAC West preseason favorite Toledo, I still feel the same way, especially on a neutral court. I like the Broncos in a close one.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 60, Loyola-Chicago 57
D.J. Duckett: Loyola has impressed me early in this college basketball season. They have already beaten one MAC team in Toledo and look to add the Broncos to that list. I will be watching to see how WMU will handle Senior Forward Ben Averkamp. He has performed well for the Ramblers this season, and with WMU's size in the front court being an issue, Averkamp could have a big game if Shayne Whittington gets in early foul trouble. I see this being a very close game, with the Broncos pulling off the late minute victory.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 66, Loyola-Chicago 62
David James: Loyola looked fairly impressive in a win over Toledo, but I was more alarmed with Toledo's anemic offense than anything else. Loyola still shouldn't be a Horizon League power and this is a winnable neutral-site game.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 66, Loyola-Chicago 61
Brandon Fitzsimons: Despite Loyola's double-digit win over Toledo last week, I'm going with a young Bronco squad to get hot and pull the upset.
Score Prediction: Western Michigan 66, Loyola-Chicago 64
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