Sports Betting Picks 04-01-2017 Gonzaga Vs. South Carolina
Sports Betting Picks 04-01-2017
Gonzaga, often cast as the gutty underdog, finally finished the climb to its first Final Four, doing so as a No. 1 seed. The Bulldogs’ reward: playing a gutty underdog.
South Carolina, which advanced to the Final Four as a seventh seed in the East, is hardly a Cinderella, coming from the Southeastern Conference. But the Gamecocks seemed more like bracket-filler than bracket-buster when they lost five of their last seven games before the NCAA Tournament.
The combination of high-scoring senior guard Sindarius Thornwell and some hellacious wear-you-down defense has been more than good enough in the past two weeks, however, as South Carolina knocked off the No. 2 (Duke), No. 3 (Baylor) and No. 4 (Florida) seeds in the East.
The Gamecocks, like Gonzaga, will be appearing in their first Final Four when the game tips off Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET in Glendale, Ariz.
“We’re defending at a high clip again, which is allowing us to get out in the open court and get opportunities,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. “And our inside play has gotten good again. It kind of disappeared on us there the last month of the season. But our inside guys have played well in the NCAA Tournament.”
The Gamecocks (26-10) will need that against a big Gonzaga frontline that features 7-foot, 300-pound Przemek Karnowski, blue-chip 7-foot freshman Zach Collins and 6-9 forward Johnathan Williams. The player who really makes the Zags go, though, is Washington transfer point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, who was selected to the 10-man Wooden Award All-America team.
Williams-Goss had 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists as Gonzaga blew out Xavier 83-59 in the West Regional final, showing the offensive and defensive efficiency that have been season-long hallmarks. Critics might have doubted the Bulldogs’ level of competition in the West Coast Conference, but Gonzaga showed steel in surviving the defensive pressure of fourth-seeded West Virginia in the Sweet 16.
Williams-Goss, Williams (a transfer from Missouri) and Cal transfer guard Jordan Mathews have helped transform Gonzaga (36-1) into a more dangerous, more athletic team.
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Official Pick Take The Gonzaga -6 points
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