Grand Canyon Hopes to Continue Run
Teams will look to use their recent momentum to get a win in the first round when the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Grand Canyon Antelopes meet Friday in the NCAA Tournament.
The No. 3 seed Bulldogs enter the tournament on a nine-game win streak, including a West Coast Conference championship, and will be looking to do what past Gonzaga teams couldn’t.
Though Gonzaga’s past two tournament teams ranked No. 1 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency and looked like they could win it all, the Bulldogs fell in the NCAA title game in 2021 and made a Sweet 16 exit last year. This year, though its top offense remains, Gonzaga will look to reach the championship with a defense that ranks outside the top 75 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Grand Canyon has also been on a roll recently, winning its last six games as well as the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
Both teams will hope that momentum goes in their favor, though according to college basketball lines, Gonzaga is a 15-point favorite in the matchup.
Also, check on these NCAAB betting lines.
Gonzaga Remains Offensive Juggernaut
Although the Gonzaga Bulldogs’ defense isn’t the same as past years, this is still Mark Few’s team and their offense remains on top.
Gonzaga is first in KenPom in adjusted offensive efficiency and first in the nation in scoring and field goal percentage, averaging 87.5 points on 52.9% shooting.
The Bulldogs ran through the West Coast Conference Tournament, capped by a 26-point drubbing of Saint Mary’s, and their offense remained strong through the end of the season. In its last five games, Gonzaga averaged 87.8 points on 55.1% shooting.
Gonzaga is led by Drew Timme, who averages 20.9 points, but it also has a number of 3-point shooters. Of the Bulldogs’ five leading scorers, three of them shoot over 39% from beyond the arc, with two averaging in double figures.
Drew Timme has now scored the most career points in Gonzaga men’s basketball history.@ZagMBB pic.twitter.com/0V7m4eapo1
— ESPN (@espn) March 8, 2023
The Bulldogs’ high-powered offense will need to continue to carry them through the first round and beyond.
According to college basketball odds, Gonzaga has +1500 odds to win March Madness.
Grand Canyon Turns It Around
The Grand Canyon Antelopes’ offense has also been the key to their recent success, especially through the Western Athletic Tournament.
Although Grand Canyon’s offense was just the sixth in the conference in scoring and fifth in shooting, averaging 75.3 points on 46.3% shooting, it has shown improvement since the Antelopes’ last loss in late February.
The Antelopes fell to Seattle 65-54 in late February, and their offense was unable to do much of anything, scoring just 13 points in the first half and finishing with a 32.7% shooting percentage.
Since then, Grand Canyon has gone on a six-game win streak, averaging 80.3 points on 52.6% shooting. The team also shot over 50% in each of its WAC Tournament wins.
The Antelopes are led by Rayshon Harrison and Gabe McGlothan, who average 17.7 and 12.8 points, respectively. Both were outstanding in the tournament, averaging 20 points apiece.
Grand Canyon’s strong shooting will remain crucial as they try to take down another strong offense in Gonzaga.
Gonzaga vs Grand Game Injuries
Gonzaga vs Grand Canyon Head-to-Head
This will be the first meeting between Gonzaga and Grand Canyon.
According to NCAA basketball odds, Gonzaga has +400 odds to reach the Final Four while the sportsbook gives Grand Canyon +10000 odds to do so.
Gonzaga vs Grand Canyon Game Information
- Game: Gonzaga (28-5, 14-2, West Coast) vs Grand Canyon (24-11, 11-7 Western Athletic)
- Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
- Time/Date: Friday, March 17, 7:35 p.m. ET
- Gonzaga vs Grand Canyon Live stream: TBS.com
Gonzaga vs Grand Canyon Betting Lines
Gonzaga vs Grand Canyon Picks and Prediction
Gonzaga and Grand Canyon will meet as teams who tend to win more with offense and are entering the tournament with momentum.
The Bulldogs may not be touted as the juggernaut of recent seasons, but they still have the offensive firepower to advance through the bracket. The Antelopes are a good team that can also shoot the three, but their defense isn’t bad either. Grand Canyon’s strong shooting should keep the game closer than the spread predicts, but Timme will be the difference in a contest where Gonzaga leaves the winner.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are listed at -1600 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bulldogs, you have a chance to win $6. The Grand Canyon Antelopes are +900, offering a chance to win $900 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Gonzaga Bulldogs a 94.12% chance to win, with the Grand Canyon Antelopes at 10.00%.