Many of the folks who are following the NCAA Tournament realize that there is a very real possibility that the Gonzaga Bulldogs will win the national title as an undefeated team. That hasn’t happened since 1976.
The Creighton Bluejays have had to go through a rough and controversial patch that included the suspension of coach Greg McDermott, for making the now infamous “plantation” comment. But they have plowed ahead, although admittedly they are not a completely known commodity at this point.
In the Sweet Sixteen , Gonzaga and Creighton will tangle for the right to move on to the Elite Eight. It’s set for Sunday afternoon at 2:10 PM ET at the Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
CBS will televise the game, and the #1 team in the nation, to a wide audience, and if you are signed up as a customer with BetOnline, you’ll have hundreds of props in front of you for the NCAA Tournament games. And after those games begin, there is the opportunity to stay very much in the action with the “Live Betting” option.
NCAA Tournament – Sweet Sixteen @ Indianapolis
GONZAGA BULLDOGS vs.CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS, 2:10 PM ET Sunday (CBS)
March Madness Betting Odds: Gonzaga -13 (-115) / Total 158.5 (Over -105, Under -115)
Usually when you see a team from a mid-major (at best) conference remain undefeated for a long period of time, it’s because they have lacked quality opposition.
But that wasn’t the case with Gonzaga, which encountered a very formidable non-conference slate. Indeed, they registered wins by double digits over the likes of Kansas, Iowa and Virginia. They also beat West Virginia, in what, it turns out,was their only win of the season that came by less than ten points. Interestingly, in the West Coast Conference, which is generally not highly-regarded, they scored three wins over BYU, which wound up in the top 20 in the NCAA’s “NET” rankings.
Gonzaga leads the nation in scoring. The ‘Zags are first in Offensive Efficiency, first in two-point accuracy (63.6%), and 29th in three-point percentage (37.3%),even though that’s not what they generally concentrate on. They have three All-Americans. They don’t foul a lot.
If there’s a chink in the armour, it’s that they don’t necessarily exhibit “lockdown” defense. They seem content with rolling over their opponents with pure offensive firepower.
Creighton comes to the fray as a team that, like Gonzaga, plays defense just well enough so its offense can ultimately be the deciding factor. They are 15th in the nation in Effective Field Goal Percentage. They hit a lot of triples. They have an excellent go-to guy in Martin Zegarowski, who has actually hit 20 of 33 from three-point range over his last six games.
The stumbling block for them has been getting past the suspension of McDermott, who caught holy hell for telling his players they had to “stay on the plantation” after a game against Butler. Even though some of his players turned him in (leading to the brief suspension), they still wanted him to coach the team.
Look – it’s nothing unusual for Gonzaga to win by this kind of margin. And Creighton, which beat Cal-Santa Barbara and Ohio to get here, doesn’t seem the type of team that is going to shut the Bulldogs down and pull off the upset. In fact, we wouldn’t be shocked to see a blowout. But it will be a blowout on the “long” end, meaning that the ‘Zags, who hung 98 points on a Virginia team that is slower than Heinz catchup ever was, would once again overwhelm an opponent with scoring.
And that has its effect on the way we look at things.
We keep in mind that Creighton still has quite a bit of offense at its disposal. That much is clear. As such, we don’t see that much of a problem taking this total OVER the posted number.
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