Playing on an injured ankle, UCLA's Johnny Juzang may have played himself into being a first round draft pick with his performance in the NCAA Tournament.
No. 1 Gonzaga’s quest for a perfect season continues against No. 11 UCLA on Saturday night in the Final Four. The Bulldogs have steamrolled through the NCAA Tournament and the season as a whole. The Bruins come in as the surprise of the tournament and have turned a First Four berth into a Final Four berth. Will Gonzaga stay perfect and get a shot at their first-ever NCAA Tournament championship, or does UCLA have what it takes for a huge upset and a shot at adding to their record 11 titles?
UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs NCAA Tournament Point Spread and Betting
Gonzaga opened as a 14-point favourite to win, the largest spread in a Final Four game since 1999. It’s not surprising to see 67 per cent of early betting action siding with the Bulldogs, but it’s interesting to see the Under being favoured at 70 per cent on a total of 145.5. That’s clearly due to these team’s recent results. Both teams have fallen short of the number in three of four tournament games. Each team, however, has been successful against the spread. The Bruins have covered in their last five games and the Bulldogs have covered in four straight.
(11) UCLA Bruins
UCLA has done what only one other team in the history of the NCAA Tournament has managed. The Bruins are just the second team, after VCU in 2011, to reach the Final Four after playing in the First Four. Even more impressive, that First Four game needed overtime to decide a winner. This team shouldn’t be overlooked. They’ve already taken out some of the best teams in the tournament with wins over No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 1 Michigan Wolverines. There is a little bit of concern for UCLA, as leading scorer Johnny Juzang (15.5 ppg) is playing on an injured ankle. It didn’t stop him from dropping 28 points against Michigan, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. The Bruins’ best shot in this game is to slow the pace down and limit Gonzaga’s possessions to keep the game close in the late stages. At that point, who knows? This tournament’s history is filled with massive upsets.
(1) Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga hasn’t run into any issues in this tournament. They’ve outscored opponents by almost 100 points and are averaging wins by a 24-point margin. They’ve won 30 straight games this year and 29 of them were by double-digits. These weren’t gimme wins either, as the. Bruins had one of the tougher schedules in the country. Corey Kispert and Drew Timme have been running the offence and both average over 18 points per game. They’re also getting help from Jalen Suggs and Andrew Nembhard, who each average over four assists per game. Gonzaga will likely bump up the pace for this game. They have the better team in every facet of the game and if they come out of the gate with a strong pace, they’ll put this thing away early. Look for another Gonzaga blowout in this one.