The second-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs battled with the seventh-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes tonight in the NCAA Tournament. The game is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TBS. Currently the NCAA Tournament Betting Odds for the game have the Bulldogs favored by a couple of buckets to pick up the victory.
Gonzaga had a 10-point win over North Dakota State in the opening round of the tournament, but they did give up 46 second half points to the Bison. The game was relatively close for a good portion of time and each time North Dakota State made a nice run, the Bulldogs were able to answer and stay far enough ahead. Kyle Wiltjer scored a game-high 23 points for Gonzaga in the victory, leading four Bulldog starters in double digits on the day. Gonzaga had only nine turnovers in that contest as well as they took care of the basketball and made North Dakota State work on every possession.
Iowa, on the other hand, put it into a higher gear Friday when they blew out Davidson. The Hawkeyes got 26 points from Aaron White en route to the biggest 7/10 win margin in the history of the tournament. Iowa shot better than 50 percent for the game, connecting for 35 of their 70 shots from the floor.
Gonzaga won’t let Iowa be that efficient on the offensive end. The Bulldogs defense will be considerably better than what Davidson brought to the table. They rebound, make other teams work hard to get good looks at the rim, but they aren’t the most defensive efficient team.
Iowa is very balanced efficiency-wise, tanking Top 30 nationally in both offense and defense categories. They’ll need to continue playing that style of basketball against a Gonzaga team that really shoots the basketball well, including leading the country at better than 50 percent from the floor.
Experienced guards for the Zags will prove to be the difference, as Kevin Pangos takes control late and leads his team to the win.
Free Pick: Gonzaga 75, Iowa 68
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