No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 11 Xavier Musketeers Preview
Where: SAP Center – San Jose, California
When: Saturday, March 25, 2017 – 6:10 PM ET
Line: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Xavier Musketeers – view all NCAA Basketball lines
TV Broadcast: TBS
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Betting on the Gonzaga Bulldogs (35-1, 17-1 WCC)
Number one-ranked Gonzaga overcame the pesky West Virginia Mountaineers in the Sweet 16 to advance, 61-58. It was a struggle, as the two teams combined for only 34 field goals and a woeful 32.6 percent shooting.
We doubt they care, though. Every win in the March Madness stage should feel good.
The Bulldogs will continue to bring in one of the nation’s most balanced attack. They are top 35 overall in points, rebounds, assists, and field goal shooting, and top 50 in steals and blocks – the only team in the Elite Eight to do so.
Additionally, their firepower on offense is a headache for every team. Five of their players average double-digit points, and four of them also shoot above 50 percent from the floor. Versatile point guard Nigel Williams-Goss (16.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.7 SPG) and paint monster Przemek Karnowski (12.4 PPG, 5.9 APG) should be able to lead the way in faring well against Xavier’s hot-and-cold defense.
The Zags are 19-1 in their last 20 games as underdogs (11-7-2 ATS).
Betting on the Xavier Musketeers (24-13, 9-9 Big East)
Xavier’s 73-71 win over second-seeded Arizona is of the biggest upsets in the tournament yet, and it was a really good one. They were about to be put away before successfully making a 9-0 run in the final three minutes to steal the victory and advance.
As always, it was sharpshooter Trevon Blueitt that powered the Musketeers. He scored a game-high 25 points and assisted in the go-ahead basket of Sean O’Mara with only 44 seconds left, which ultimately led to the contest’s final score. Blueitt was joined by his two co-guards in providing damage – JP Macura had 14 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while Malcolm Bernard chipped in 15 points and went 3-for-3 from long distance.
We can expect the three to once again get the offense going versus Gonzaga. As shooters, they should be able to spread the defense and create scoring opportunities for the other guys, most especially their bigs down low.
The Muskeeters are now winners in six of their last seven (7-0 ATS), and have shot 50 percent or better in three straight games. Blueitt is putting up 22.4 points in that seven-game stretch.
Xavier wins, 75-73.
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