South Dakota State vs Gonzaga March Madness Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Wednesday,March 15, 2017 9:42, EST in

No. 1 seeds have won all 128 meetings with No. 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, and the average margin of victory the past two years has been 28.0. Is there any reason to think No. 16 South Dakota State will stay within shouting distance of No. 1 Gonzaga on Thursday in the West Region? Oddsmakers don’t think so. Here’s a look at the March Madness odds for the game.

South Dakota State vs Gonzaga March Madness Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Thursday, March 16, 2 PM ET
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
TV: TBS
StreamMarch Madness Live
RadioSouth Dakota State / Gonzaga
Opening NCAAB Lines: Gonzaga -22

Why Bet On South Dakota State?

Of all the players in the NCAA Tournament, South Dakota State sophomore forward Mike Daum averages the most points (25.3 per game). He also posted the highest-scoring game of the season in all of Division I with 51 points back February 18.

After a slow start to the season, the Jacks have won nine of their last 11 and six straight, taking the eight-team Summit League tournament championship as a 4-seed. Daum, the nation’s No. 2 scorer, carries much of the load in a high-powered offense that relies on the three and free-throw shooting.

Four Jackrabbits on this year’s roster – Daum, Tevin King, Reed Tellinghuisen and Ian Theisen – have logged minutes in the NCAA Tournament. Skyler Flatten, Beau Brown, Adam Dykman and Lane Severyn were on last year’s team but did not appear in the NCAA Tournament game with Maryland while Michael Orris was a member of the 2012-13 Kansas State team that qualified for the NCAA Tournament, though he did not play.

Though SD State has not won a game in its three prior NCAA Tournament appearances, the Jacks were close to a pair of upsets in 2011-12 and 2015-16. In the 2012 Tournament, SDSU trailed No. 3 seed Baylor by four with less than a minute to play, but saw the Bears win 68-60.

Last year, SDSU charged back from an 18-point deficit to Maryland and trailed by just two with 13 seconds on the clock, but saw Maryland pull out the 79-74 win. SDSU has set school records in 3-pointers made and attempted this season as the NCAA Tournament begins. The Jacks are 313 of 863 on 3-point attempts this season. The previous record for makes was 284 (set in 2011-12) and the former record in attempts was 732 (set in 2014-15). South Dakota State has attempted fewer than 20 3-pointers in a game just five times this season. The Jacks average 25.4 3-point attempts per contest and are 32nd nationally with 9.2 3-pointers made per game.

Why Bet On Gonzaga?

Gonzaga was 29-0 before losing their regular season finale to BYU, then stormed easily through the WCC tournament. While many will hammer on Gonzaga’s weak schedule — 99th in the nation — they took care of business in convincing fashion by leading the nation in scoring margin in beating their opponents by an average of 23.4 points per game. Of the Zags’ 32 wins 21 came by at least 20 points while they won 13 by 30 or more.

Junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss leads them with 16.9 points per game, while 7-foot- 1, 300-pound center Przmek Karnowski is the team’s second leading scorer at 12.9 a game and one of the most physically dominant players in the nation.

The Bulldogs carry a 51.8 percent mark on field goals in the tournament (second-best nationally) while shooting 38.2 percent beyond the arc. Gonzaga has gotten to the line 740 times this season, hitting 546 free throws (73.8 percent). Defensively, Gonzaga is allowing just 61.2 points per contest (No. 8 in NCAA Division I) while limiting opponents to 36.8 percent from the field and 30 percent shooting beyond the arc (No. 8 nationally).

The elements are all in place, from the do-everything facilitator (Williams-Goss) to the athletic big man (Karnowski) to the support players who know their roles. The Zags don’t always light it up from long range, but they usually make up for it with their athleticism and ability to get to the rim.

The Jackrabbits and Bulldogs have met once all-time in a 1956 New Year’s Eve matchup in Brookings, S.D. The Jacks won that contest, 88-78. Since joining the NCAA in 1958-59, the Zags are 6-0 against current members Summit League. GU cruised to a 102-65 victory over South Dakota at home this season on Dec. 21. The Bulldogs opened the 2015 NCAA Tournament with an 86-76 victory over North Dakota State in Seattle.

Gonzaga is one of only two teams to win its opening-round NCAA Tournament game each of the last eight seasons – Kansas is the other.

South Dakota vs Gonzaga Free Pick: South Dakota Jackrabbits

Gonzaga will of course win, but the Jackrabbits will cover in garbage time.