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Baylor vs. Gonzaga – 3/23/19 NCAA March Madness Pick, Odds, and Prediction.
Game : Baylor at Gonzaga
Date & Time : Saturday March 23, 2019, 7:10 PM (EDT)
Location : Vivint Smart Home Arena
Salt Lake City, UT
Gonzaga -13 / over-under: 148
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NCAA BB | Baylor at Gonzaga
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA college basketball action pits the Gonzaga Bulldogs against the Baylor Bears.
The Baylor Bears were strong at both ends of the floor in upending the Syracuse Orange 78-69 as a 2.5 point underdog to earn a second round spot in the NCAA’s.
Makai Mason keyed the Bears attack with 22 points, four pulls and four assists with Jared Butler adding 14 points, five boards and four helpers.
Baylor saw 13 points and four boards from Mario Kegler while King McClure and Freddie Gillespie combined for 17 points and ten rebounds.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs took a commanding 53-17 lead in to the intermission in routing an outmanned Fairleigh Dickinson squad 87-49.
Rui Hachimura paced five Bulldogs in the DD scoring column with a game high 21 points and eight rebounds with Killian Tillie tossing in 17 points.
Zach Norvell Jr. gave Gonzaga 13 points, six boards and seven helpers followed by Brandon Clarke and Geno Grandall with 12 and ten points and 12 rebounds between them.
Baylor Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games and are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. West Coast and are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win and are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 NCAA Tournament games.
Gonzaga Bulldogs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game andare 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 vs. Big 12 and are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 NCAA Tournament games.
You could see Gonzaga’s big win coming against Fairleigh Dickinson but Baylor is a bigger fish. However I just don’t think the Bears can hang with a focused Gonzaga.
Baylor NCAA tournament second-round prediction: If Bears want to upset Gonzaga, they need to replicate this from win vs. Syracuse.
Baylor vs. Gonzaga — NCAA tournament second round
When: 6:10 p.m., Saturday, Salt Lake City
Records: Baylor (20-13, 10-8 Big 12); Gonzaga (31-3, 16-0 WCC)
Series: Gonzaga has won the only two meetings with Baylor
What’s on the line
While this season should already be viewed as a success for Scott Drew and the Bears, they still have plenty more to gain. A win over Gonzaga would not only be a program-changer, but it could change the way the Big 12 is perceived around the nation. Either way, Baylor has done more than it was expected to with the injuries it was dealt this season.
For Gonzaga, not making it past the second round of the NCAA tournament would be a catastrophe by the program’s high standards. Gonzaga hasn’t been knocked out in the second round since losing to Syracuse in 2010. Combined with how shorthanded the Bears’ roster is, a loss to Baylor would be an embarrassment for the No. 1 seed. Gonzaga has much more to lose.
When Baylor has the ball
With Tristan Clark out, Baylor will run its offense through guards Jared Butler and Makai Mason. Since it was successful and resulted in a win over Syracuse, expect the Bears to do the same against Gonzaga. The pair combined to shoot 12-of-25 from the floor for 36 points and tallied five steals against Syracuse on Thursday. They will need to do the same against the Zags.
As a team, the Bears will also need to replicate the 3-point shooting success they had against the Orange. Baylor shot 47 percent from 3-point range, led by four makes by Mason and Butler and three each from King McClure and Mario Kegler. To hang with the top offense in the nation, the Bears will need to do it by committee from 3-point range.
When Gonzaga has the ball
Touting the nation’s top scoring offense, Gonzaga will be tough for the Bears to stop defensively. The Bulldogs average a DI-leading 88.8 points per game and are tops in the nation with a 1.76 assist-to-turnover ratio. Gonzaga also shoots over 50 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.
Gonzaga’s offense is led by Rui Hachimura, who averages 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting over 60 percent from the floor. The 6-8 forward has also worked toward adding a 3-point shot to his repertoire. He’s only attempted 32 this season, but is making them at a 47 percent clip. Gonzaga also has capable scorers in Brandon Clarke (16.6), Zach Norvell Jr. (15.3) and Josh Perkins (10.8).
What Mason and the Bears did in the first round is something to be proud of, but it’s the end of the line for Baylor. Gonzaga’s offense is difficult for any team in the nation to hang with. That could prove doubly-so for a Baylor team missing some key contributors. Baylor will put up a fight like it has all season, but Gonzaga’s talent will win the battle.
Score: Gonzaga 80, Baylor 67