Teams Taking Different Paths
Teams who have had different paths of success will meet in the Elite Eight on Saturday when the UConn Huskies and Gonzaga Bulldogs match up.
The No. 4 seed Huskies have had a relatively easy go in the NCAA Tournament, winning by double digits in each round, and their win in the Sweet 16 was no different. UConn led the whole game against Arkansas and the Razorbacks were unable to get close.
The third-seeded Bulldogs had a much tighter game in their Sweet 16 victory, their second three-point win of the tournament. The Zags took their game with UCLA down to the wire. Julian Strawther nailed a 3-pointer for a Gonzaga lead with under 10 seconds remaining, sending the Bulldogs onward to the Elite Eight.
Still not over it. 🤯pic.twitter.com/NV3xmecoAx
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) March 24, 2023
According to college basketball lines, UConn is a slight-point favorite in the matchup.
UConn Defense Shows Out
The UConn Huskies’ offense was great against Arkansas, but their defense was incredible in the win.
Despite Adama Sanogo not reaching 20 points for the first time in the tournament, UConn scored 88 points on 57.4% shooting.
However, the Huskies’ defense was just as strong, holding Arkansas, which averages 47% from the field a game, to a season-low 31.7% shooting and 65 points.
UConn also turned over the Razorbacks 10 times, leading to 14 points, and limited Arkansas leading scorer Ricky Council, who averages a 43.6% field-goal percentage, to 4-of-12 from the field.
The Huskies’ defense will need to continue to play as well as it has when it takes on the top-ranked Gonzaga offense.
According to college basketball odds, UConn has +850 odds to win March Madness.
Although they were down 13 points at halftime and the Bulldogs didn’t have their usual 3-point shot, Drew Timme and the Zags’ second-half defense pushed them past UCLA.
Gonzaga was shut down beyond the arc in the first half, going just 2-of-5 from 3, but Timme finished the game with 36 points and kept the Bulldogs in striking distance with 19 of their 33 first-half points.
The Zags’ defense also came alive after the break, holding the Bruins without a field goal for over 11 minutes and to 30% shooting in the second half after UCLA hit 51.4% of its shots in the first half.
Timme has been a force for Gonzaga all season, but its defense showing up when it was needed most could be big for this team.
According to NCAA basketball odds, the Bulldogs have +1000 odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
UConn vs Gonzaga Game Injuries
UConn vs Gonzaga Head-to-Head
UConn and Gonzaga have met three times previously, with the Bulldogs leading 2-1. The two last clashed in November 2015 at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, where the Zags won 73-70.
UConn vs Gonzaga Game Information
- Game: UConn (28-8) vs. Gonzaga (31-5)
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 25, 8:49 p.m. ET
- UConn vs GonzagaLive Stream: TBS.com
UConn vs Gonzaga Betting Lines
UConn vs Gonzaga Picks and Prediction
UConn and Gonzaga will meet in the Elite Eight after earning their way there two separate ways.
No team seems to have found an answer for UConn’s offense while its defense has been doing some destruction of its own, resulting in three straight double-digit wins. Gonzaga has had a tougher time, with its last two games coming down to the end. However, the Bulldogs still found a way to win, with their offense continuing to shine in those games.
Although the Zags will be a tougher opponent for the Huskies, Sanogo should be able to handle Timme better than previous teams have, helping UConn to advance to the Final Four.
The UConn Huskies are listed at -130 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Huskies, you have a chance to win $77. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are +110, offering a chance to win $110 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the UConn Huskies a 56.52% chance to win, with the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 47.62%.