Drew Timme is looking to add some more hardware from this tournament to his trophy case. After already locking up Best Moustache of the Tournament, Timme and Gonzaga are one step closer to a chance at the title.
Two top ranked offences are set to clash in the Sweet 16 on Sunday afternoon as No. 1 Gonzaga will face No. 5 Creighton. The Bluejays squeaked by UC Santa Barbara in the first round before blowing out Ohio in the Round of 32, but they’re up against a Bulldogs team that has been blowing opponents out of the water all year. Will Gonzaga’s dominance continue, or are they about to be tested by a tough Creighton team?
Creighton Bluejays vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs NCAA Tournament Point Spread and Betting
Early betting has Gonzaga standing firm as 13.5-point favourites over Creighton with a total of 158. A solid 77 per cent of early action is backing the Bulldogs, while the over/under is pretty much split down the middle. It’s a tough call on the total, as the Bluejays have gone under the number in four of their last five games, while Gonzaga has gone over the mark in seven of their last nine outings. Both teams are hit-and-miss against the spread. Gonzaga is 6-3 ATS in their last nine games. The Bluejays have covered in four of their last six.
(5) Creighton Bluejays
After a humbling first round game that saw them scrape by with a 63-62 win over UC Santa Barbara, the Bluejays rebuilt their confidence with a 78-52 pounding of Ohio on Monday. All five starters hit double-digit points against Ohio. Leading scorer Marcus Zegarowski, who is averaging 15.6 points per game, finished with a game-high 20 points. Damien Jefferson was the next highest scorer on the team with 15 points. Christian Bishop also added 12 points and 15 rebounds. This team is dangerous when they hit three’s. They average almost 10 three’s per game and ranked seventh in the nation for total three’s made.
The key to this game for Creighton will be to attack Gonzaga’s outside shooters and not let them have target practice. They’re also going to need to be better from the free throw line. One of the reasons why the game against UCSB was so close is because Creighton only shoots 64.2 per cent from the free throw line. Those are key points you can’t afford to throw away against a team like Gonzaga.
(1) Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have won by an average margin of 29.5 points over the first two games of this tournament. That number was obviously boosted high with a 43 point win over Norfolk State to start the tournament, but there was also a fairly sizeable gap in their 87-71 win over Oklahoma on Monday. After Corey Kispert starred with a 23-point, five-rebound performance against Norfolk State, Drew Timme took over against Oklahoma and finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Gonzaga plays like a veteran team with no panic in their game, although there has been little to panic about at any point this year. The Bulldogs have made over 88 per cent of their free throws in the tournament and they’re shooting over 50 per cent from the field. If Gonzaga can shut down Zegarowski they’ll have a much easier path to the win, but even if they don’t, their offence is too good to lose this game.