West Region Third Round Wagering Selections: #8 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs #1 Arizona Wildcats

2014 NCAA Tournament
West Region – Third Round

Viejas Arena – San Diego, California
#8 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs #1 Arizona Wildcats
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 9:40 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: Arizona -6
Current Line: Arizona -6 1/2
Opening Total: 127
Current Total: 127
Opening Money Line: Arizona -265 / Gonzaga +220
Current Money line: Arizona -290 / Gonzaga  +240

Gonzaga is a 6.5 point underdog against Arizona in the West region third round in San Diego Sunday.
Gonzaga is a 6.5 point underdog against Arizona in the West region third round in San Diego Sunday.

The 29-6 Gonzaga Bulldogs and 31-4 Arizona Wildcats meet Sunday in the West Region third round Sunday night in San Diego. The winner between the #8 seed Bulldogs and #1 Wildcats will meet #4 seed San Diego State in the West Regional semifinals next week in Anaheim.

Gonzaga won the regular season West Coast Conference title with a 15-3 record by two games over BYU and San Francisco. The Bulldogs also won the WCC Tournament by beating BYU 75-64 in the championship game. Gonzaga beat #9 seed Oklahoma State 85-77 in the second round Friday.

Arizona won the Pac 12 regular season title with a 15-3 record. The Wildcats were upset by UCLA 75-71 in the Pac 12 Championship game, but the Wildcats were  locked into a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament whether they won or lost that game.  Arizona beat #16 Weber State 68-59 in the Second round Friday.

Arizona leads the series 3-1 against Gonzaga. The Bulldogs won the last meeting in 2011 71-60 in Seattle. Gonzaga and Arizona played a classic double overtime game in the 2003 NCAA second round in Salt Lake City. The Wildcats escaped with a 96-95 win in that contest.

Gonzaga is coached by Mark Few. The Bulldogs have tosses to Dayton in the Maui Invitational, Kansas State in Wichita, at Portland, at Memphis, at BYU, and at San Diego. Gonzaga has won 5 straight games. The Bulldogs have key wins over Colorado State, Oakland, Washington State, Arkansas in Maui, New Mexico State, at West Virginia, Santa Clara 3 times, San Francisco twice, St. Mary’s 3 times, Pacific twice, Pepperdine twice, Loyola Marymount twice, San Diego, BYU twice, and Portland. Gonzaga is 17-14-1 ATS and the total is 13-19 this season.

Gonzaga is outscoring teams 77-65 this season. The Bulldogs are #55 or better in both categories. Gonzaga is shooting 49.8% from the field and 39.4% from 3 point range. The Bulldogs are #5 nationally in field goal percentage and #17 in 3 point shooting. Gonzaga makes 71% of their free throws. Bulldog opponents are shooting 39.5% from the field and 32% from 3 point range. Gonzaga is #17 nationally in field goal defense. The Bulldogs average 35.7 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.9 per game. Gonzaga averages 14.7 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 6.7 steals, and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 10.1 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 5.4 steals and 3 blocks per game.

Center Sam Dower, Jr. averages 15 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1 assist per game. Guard Kevin Pangos averages 14.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Gary Bell, Jr. averages 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1 steal per game. Center Przemek Karnowski averages 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Guard David Stockton (son of NBA Hall-of-Famer John) averages 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Drew Barham, Gerard Coleman and Kyle Dranginis will also get significant minutes.

Arizona is coached by Sean Miller. Arizona has losses at California,  Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA. The Wildcats have key wins over Cal Poly, Long Beach State, at San Diego State, Rhode Island, Drexel and Duke in the pre-season NIT in New York City, Texas Tech, UNLV, New Mexico State, at Michigan, Washington State, Washington, at UCLA and USC, Arizona State, Colorado three times, Utah three times , Cal, Stanford twice, Oregon and Oregon State twice. Arizona is 20-14 ATS and the total is 11-20-2 this season.

Arizona is outscoring teams 73-58 this season. The Wildcats are #4 nationally in points allowed. Arizona is shooting 46.8% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are #49 nationally in field goal percentage.  Arizona makes 65.5% of their free throws and are #312 nationally out of 351 teams in that category. Wildcat opponents are shooting 38.1% from the field and 31.4% from 3 point range. Arizona is #6 in field goal defense and #46 in 3 point defense. The Wildcats average 39 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.9. Arizona is #19 in rebounding and #10 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Wildcats average 15.1 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 5.9 steals and 4.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.2 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.

Guard Nick Johnson averages 16.2 points, 4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Forward Aaron Gordon averages 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Forward Brandon Ashley averaged 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1 assist per game. He broke his foot in the Cal loss and is gone for the season. Center Kaleb Tarczewski averages 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1 block per game. Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson averages 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Guard T.J. McConnell averages 8.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Guard Gabe York averages 6.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

Gonzaga is 5-0 ATS against teams with winning records, 5-1 overall, 4-1 after a straight up win, 4-9-1 in non-conference games, and 1-5-1 against Pac 12 teams.

Arizona is 6-1 ATS in NCAA Tournament games, and 19-7 in non-conference games.

Gonzaga certainly has the talent to pull off the upset against Arizona. The Wildcats have been a little inconsistent since Ashley was injured. Still The Wildcats have a stifling defense,a nd I think that will be enough to beat the Zags.

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