The 2019 version of Loyola-Chicago is out there, lurking.
Well, maybe there isn't a first-round Giant Killer that will make it to the Final Four like the Ramblers did. But somewhere, there's a double-digit seed that's going to be busting up Tournament Challenge brackets -- and we're on the hunt for it.
For the unfamiliar, this space has long been devoted to finding dangerous Giant Killers -- teams that are at least five seed lines below their opponents -- and vulnerable Giants through quantitative analysis.
A year ago, we revamped our Giant Killers model, which now uses BPI ratings as a base and makes adjustments specific to every matchup based on each team's strengths and weaknesses in advanced box score statistics. That, combined with our BPI projections that determine which teams will make the tournament and where they will be seeded come selection day (which can be very different from where they would be seeded today), has us armed and ready to look for the next batch of Giant Killer candidates.
Today we're focusing on potential first-round Giant Killers -- 11-seeds or worse, in other words -- but before we do that, we think it's only fitting to start with the king of them all: the Ramblers. Can Loyola-Chicago repeat as the ultimate Giant Killer?