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2017 March Madness Round of 64 – Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. South Dakota State Jackrabbits Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview

2017 March Madness Round of 64 – Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. South Dakota State Jackrabbits Predictions, Picks and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 South Dakota State Preview

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena – Salt Lake City, UT

When: Thursday, March 16, 2017 – 2:00 PM ET

Line: Gonzaga Bulldogs (-22) vs. South Dakota State Jackrabbits (+22); total: 156.0 – view all NCAAB lines

TV Broadcast: TBS

College Basketball News and Previews

Betting on the Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-1, 17-1 WCC)

Point spread: -22

Gonzaga, to no one’s surprise, is seeded number one for the tourney. They only lost once during the regular season (as indicated above), and also breezed through the WCC championship convincingly, garnering an average winning margin of 19.6 points.

The opening round should be a cake walk for the Zags. They have an imposing offense (84.6 PPG) that features five players – Nigel Williams-Goss, Przemek Karnowski, Jordan Mathews, Zach Collins, and Jonathan Williams – averaging double-digit points, with four of the five also shooting 52 percent or better.

Williams-Goss, winner of this year’s WCC Player of the Year award, should be able to continue leading the charge. He has been an excellent addition to the team’s core since transferring from Washington last summer. The junior is posting 16.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.8 steals on 52.1 percent shooting this season.

The Bulldogs are 19-1 in their last 20 games (14-5-1 ATS).

Betting on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (18-16, 8-8 Summit)

Point spread: +22

The Jackrabbits sneaked into the tournament courtesy of a couple of good showings in the Summit League championship, where they had two straight games on a cardiac finish, one of which was the 79-77 victory against Nebraska-Omaha in the finals.

Like their first-round opponents, South Dakota State also has the conference player of the the year awardee on their side, as their go-to guy, Mike Daum, won the title.

After a solid freshman year that saw him lead the Jacks to a tournament appearance, the stretch four lived up to people’s heavy expectations for his sophomore year. He’s netting over 25 points per game on 51.6 percent shooting this season, and also had commendable performances during the conference championship, which eventually had him posting 29.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in the three-game stretch.

Despite Daum’s noteworthy games, though, the Jacks are very likely to get trounced by Gonzaga on Thursday. They simply have nothing to offer beside Daum’s scoring and outside shooting.

Although the 77.6 PPG average on a 45.9 percent shooting clip is respectable, they have zero defense, so much so that they are ranked in the 300s in allowed points, field goals, threes, and assists.

Writer’s Prediction

The Zags (-22) will barely fail to cover the sizable spread, 88-68

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Written by JE

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