#1 Gonzaga vs San Francisco Road to March Madness

#1 Gonzaga vs San Francisco Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 12, 2021

Top-ranked Gonzaga remains the betting favorite on the NCAAB odds to win its first-ever national championship and the Zags try to remain unbeaten Saturday when they visit a pretty dangerous San Francisco team that has an excellent backcourt.

How to Bet Gonzaga at San Francisco NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

On Jan. 2, the Zags hosted San Francisco and rolled 85-62. Corey Kispert scored 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting, Joel Ayayi added 18 points and Andrew Nembhard had 14 for Gonzaga. Drew Timme had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Jamaree Bouyea scored 18 points for San Francisco, which has lost 20 consecutive games to Gonzaga since 2012. Dzmitry Ryuny added 11 points. The Zags scored the first seven points of the second half to complete a 16-0 run and led 54-37. The Dons ended up shooting only 38.9% for the game, compared to 52.6% for Gonzaga.

Why Bet on Gonzaga? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Gonzaga (19-0) played a rare close game on Monday but really was never in danger of losing as it won 82-71 at BYU. The most recent loss for Gonzaga, a 91-78 setback against BYU, came on Feb. 22 last year when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 2 in the nation.

“We just remembered last year,” Drew Timme said of Monday’s win. “It’s still a bitter taste in my mouth.”

BYU cut the deficit to eight in the second half Monday before the Bulldogs held the Cougars to two baskets over a seven-minute span. The Bulldogs led the nation in field goal percentage entering the game, connecting on 55.1% of their attempts. Gonzaga shot 50.8% against BYU.

Jalen Suggs scored 24 points and Drew Timme had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Andrew Nembhard added 15 points and Corey Kispert had 13 as the Bulldogs led wire-to-wire in their 23rd straight victory.

Kispert, Suggs and Drew Timme were named to the 2021 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Midseason Team the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday. The list was narrowed to 30 players still vying for the Men’s Player of the Year honor. Gonzaga is the only program in the country with three selections on the midseason team.

Kispert leads the West Coast Conference in scoring at 19.53 points per game, shooting 56.5 percent from the field, which is second in the league. He tops the WCC in three-point field goal percentage (48.3 percent) and is making a conference-best three threes a game.

Suggs leads the WCC in steals per game averaging 2.18 per game. He is scoring 14.41 points per game, and is fifth in the league dishing out 4.35 assists per outing. Timme is shooting a conference-high 62.5 percent from the field, including 64.2 percent inside-the-arc. He is second in the WCC averaging 18.89 points per game. His 7.11 rebounds per game ranks fifth in the conference, including third pulling down 2.42 offensive boards per contest.

Why Bet on San Francisco? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Dons came off a long COVID break on Wednesday and were upset at home by Pepperdine 76-68. The Waves scored 51 points in the second half to erase a 10-point halftime deficit. Pepperdine shot 52.5 percent from the field. In the second half, the Waves shot a blistering 65.6 percent from the field (21-for-32). The Dons (10-9, 4-5 WCC) were held to 33 points in the second half and shot just 39.7 percent from the field, including an 8-for-29 mark from beyond the arc.

USF was led by Khalil Shabazz’s 20. He was 8-for-19 from the field and 3-for-9 from beyond the arc. Isaiah Hawthorne had a career-high 13 points, finishing the game 3-for-6 from the floor and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc in his most extensive action of the season.

The Dons have some unique splits between wins and losses.  In the Dons’ 10 wins they average 78.8 points per game, while holding their opponents to 61.4.  In the nine losses, USF scores just 65.9 ppg, while surrendering 74.8. The Dons from 2-point range this year are shooting 50.5 percent. Two-point field goals account for just 42.2 percent of their points this season, however.

This season the Dons are 0-7 when allowing 73 or more and 10-2 when their opponent scores 72 or fewer. San Francisco has three players in the top-10 in the WCC in 3-point field goals per game: Shabazz is 2nd with 2.83, Dzmitry Ryuny is third at 2.33 and Jamaree Bouyea is ninth at 1.72 threes per game.

Expert Prediction

  • Gonzaga 82, San Francisco 71

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