Gonzaga to End South Carolina Cinderella Run
One of the two Final Four games on Saturday features the No. 7 seeded South Carolina Gamecocks taking on the No. 1 seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs. The current line has Gonzaga favored by 6.5 points with the over/under point total on 138.
At this point in time overall records do not matter. However, over the past 10 games played, South Carolina is 6-4 straight up and 5-5 against the spread, while Gonzaga is 9-1 SU and 4-5-1 ATS.
This is a matchup between two teams that are in their first Final Four. The winner will advance to the April 3 national title game against the winner of the other semifinal game between Oregon and North Carolina.
Last Sunday, South Carolina defeated Florida by 7 points to reach the Final Four, while Gonzaga routed Xavier by 24 points to win their regional final on Saturday to advance to this point.
South Carolina is led by Sindarius Thornwell, who scored 26 points for the Gamecocks in the win over Florida. Offensively, South Carolina averages 73 points per game, while the Gamecocks defense is No. 31 in the country giving up just less than 65 points per contest.
Thornwell is averaging 21.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while PJ Dozier averages 13.7 points and 4.7 rebounds. The Gamecocks have four players averaging double figures in scoring.
Gonzaga’s defense came up big in its regional final holding Xavier to just 20 points during the second half, 35.5% shooting from the floor and just 2 of 16 from 3-point territory. Gonzaga’s leading scoring Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points and grabbed 8 boards to lead the team.
Gonzaga is No. 14 in the country in points scored per game at 83.2, while they are No. 4 in the country in points allowed at just less than 61 per game. Gonzaga is shooting 51% from the field overall this season which is No. 2 in the nation.
Four players average double figures in scoring for Gonzaga with Williams-Goss leading the way at 16.7 per game followed by Przemek Karnowski at 12.2 per game.
South Carolina is 4-0 ATS in its past 4 games played.
Gonzaga is 6-2-1 ATS in its past 9 games against non-conference opponents.
Prediction: Gonzaga has had a weaker overall schedule, but has won by an average of 22.5 points this season. South Carolina lost 10 games during the season, but is on a roll now. Nonetheless, take the favorite here and lean toward Gonzaga.