BYU has five losses on the season with two from Gonzaga. Can they get their revenge and pull off an upset for the ages?
BYU Cougars vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Gonzaga Bulldogs will look to finish off the regular season and conference play with an undefeated record of 26-0. They’ll take on BYU for the West Coast Tournament Championship after breezing through the conference all season long.
These two teams met twice during the regular season with Gonzaga winning 86-69 and 82-71 in two games this season.
Gonzaga has the best offense in the nation. They’re shooting a 61 percent effective field goal percentage and rarely turn the ball over. On top of that, they can get offensive rebounds at a high rate and are aggressive enough to get to the line at a high rate as well.
The Bulldogs are shooting 36 percent from three and a nation’s best 64.2 percent inside the arc on the season. They’re also 72.9 percent from the foul line.
Gonzaga is led by Corey Kispert who averages 19.3 points per game along with 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Kispert has minimized turnovers all season long and has one of the highest offensive ratings in the nation. He’s as efficient as it gets.
Drew Timme and Jalen Suggs round out the top three scorers with Timme adding 18.9 points and Suggs adding 14 pints along with 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists.
Defensively, Gonzaga has held opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 47.1 percent and have forced turnovers 20.6 percent of the time. They’ve also done a very solid job limiting offensive rebounds and keeping the fouls to a minimum for the most part.
Teams are shooting 32.1 percent from three and 46.6 percent from inside this season. Gonzaga has done a solid job on defense with a defensive efficiency of 88.4 percent. That’s good for seventh in the nation.
BYU, on the other hand, have a very solid and balanced team. They’re shooting a 55 percent effective field goal percentage thanks to 37.2 percent from three and 54.6 percent from inside. Gonzaga will challenge them defensively but if BYU gets from the field, this game might get closer than some would expect.
BYU is 20-5 with two losses to Gonzaga. They’re a solid team but they’re just not a number one seed like Gonzaga. BYU is led by Alex Barcello who averages 15.7 points per game along with Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms who each add 11 or more points per game.
Defensively, BYU has limited teams with their effective field goal percentage. Teams are shooting an effective field goal percentage of just 46.1 percent. The Cougars have also been able to limit damage on the glass, as they’re 24th in the nation in limiting offensive rebounds. The one area they’ve struggled in is forcing turnovers but by holding teams to 31.7 percent from three and 45.2 percent from inside, they’ve done enough offensively where turnovers haven’t been needed much.
It’s crazy to see a Championship game in the West Coast Conference have a line with Gonzaga -14. Gonzaga is a fantastic team but all analytics prove that BYU should stick around in this game. They’ve covered this number once against Gonzaga and didn’t in another game but in a championship game, I’d expect the best out of BYU. They’re going to give everything they’ve got against Gonzaga and make the Bulldogs sweat this one out.
I’ll take the points with BYU.
CBB Pick: BYU +14 (-110) at Bet 365