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The Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Gonzaga Bulldogs will meet at the Honda Center this Saturday as both teams can use another victory. Texas Tech enters this game with a 29-6 record after beating Michigan in its last game. Meanwhile, Gonzaga is 33-3 this season as it beat Florida State in its last game. Now, both teams will be looking to improve on their respective records in this one.
Texas Tech Wins 12 of Its Last 13 Games
Texas Tech entered this season as a ranked team with hopes to not only return to the big dance, but to potentially make it to the Elite Eight once again. So far this season, the team has achieved that goal as it has won 12 of its last 13 games including a blowout win over Michigan in its last game. In that game, Texas Tech’s defense only allowed 44 points on just 5.3% shooting from the three-point line. With a spot in the Final Four at stake, Texas Tech’s defense better be up for the challenge.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are led by sophomore guard Jarrett Culver who was a huge factor on last year’s team. Last season, Culver was extremely solid as he averaged 11.2 points per game along with 4.8 rebounds. However, he has managed to improve as he is currently leading the team in scoring once again as he is currently averaging 18.9 points per game along with 6.4 rebounds. Culver is also entering this game in good form as he scored 22 points in the team’s last game.
Coach Beard stated that he is not concerned about the quick turnaround for this team because of the preparation that the team has undergone during the season.
“We try to stay true to who we are. We find ourselves in the wings a lot in the Big 12 where we will play a Saturday game and then a big Monday. So we call it a one-day prep. We also schedule these type situations to put our guys in different situations, whether it be back-to-back or one-day preps or two-days. Really we just stay true. We get back, immediately try to hydrate and feed the guys, get some rest,” Beard said.
Gonzaga Looks Like The Best Team In The Nation
This season, Gonzaga looked to improve upon last year’s success as the team hoped to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament. So far this season, the team has fulfilled expectations quite nicely as the team is currently 33-3 and was able to win its first three NCAA tournament games against Fairleigh Dickinson, Baylor and Florida State. In the team’s last game, Gonzaga had a double-digit lead for almost the entirety of the second half as the team coasted to a victory. However, with a better opponent up next, Gonzaga will need to continue playing well.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are led by junior forward Rui Hachimura who has been tremendous with the program in his college career. Last season, he averaged 11.6 points per game along with 4.7 rebounds. This season, Hachimura was expected to become the focal point of the team’s offense and he has accepted that responsibility with open arms. He is currently leading the team in scoring with 19.6 points per game while shooting an impressive 59.9% shooting from the floor.
Coach Few stated that he is extremely impressed with his team’s ability to process information from film sessions so easily.
“I’ve been blessed with some extraordinary groups, but these guys have been unbelievable about assimilating the amount of information we’re giving to them and taking it out into action out on the floor. They all have, not just these guys, but the rest of the guys in the locker room, too, have a really good understanding of basketball and feel for the game and that makes our job, the coaches’ jobs easier,” Few said.
- Under is 6-1 in Bulldogs last 7 non-conference games.
- Under is 4-1 in Bulldogs last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 4-0 in Red Raiders last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
- Under is 5-1 in Red Raiders last 6 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although Texas Tech has played extremely well in this tournament so far, I cannot go against Gonzaga in this one. Texas Tech is an elite defensive team but it does not score too many points so one has to be a bit skeptical about this team’s performance against a team that possesses significantly more length and shooting ability. I think that Gonzaga possesses more offensive weapons and will dominate the boards. Give me the favorite in this one as a result.
Prediction: Gonzaga -4
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have the ability to score points but I think that their respective defenses are elite. Both teams are extremely scrappy on the defensive end and both offenses have struggled at times this season against elite level defenses this season. I think that both teams will look to scrap it out as it should be a struggle for both offenses in this one. I think this total is a bit too high as a result so I recommend the under in this matchup.
Prediction: Under 137.5