The No. 1 team in the country is in San Francisco tonight, as they take on the San Francisco Dons at the War Memorial Gym. The Dons will be looking to be the first team to beat the Bulldogs this season. They failed in their first attempt on January 2 in a 85-62 loss in Spokane. Now, though, San Francisco has Gonzaga at home, where they might have an easier time pulling off the upset against the Bulldogs.
Heading on the road hasn’t impacted Gonzaga yet, but all it can take is one bad spot for Gonzaga and they come ill-prepared to play and they lose. If Gonzaga loses on Saturday, that would be enough to bump the Bulldogs out of the top seed. Baylor doesn’t play until next weekend because of Covid-19. They were scheduled to play Texas Tech today, which would have made for an exciting matchup.
Baylor joins Gonzaga as the clear front runners to win the NCAA Tournament. There are bets out there where you can bet Gonzaga/Baylor vs. the field. Oddsmakers feel pretty confident in Gonzaga and Baylor, and it’s hard to argue with those two being No. 1 and No. 2. Upsets are part of March Madness, there are no other options for the top-two spots in college basketball.
With regard to Gonzaga, the argument is that they haven’t played anyone and are on an easy schedule. That’s partially untrue. Sure, yeah, they can’t do anything about playing in the West Coast Conference. However, their out of conference schedule near the beginning of the year wasn’t particularly easy. They had some tough matchups lined up to open the year against Kansas, West Virginia, Virginia, and Iowa.
Gonzaga was able to handle them all, with a 87-82 win over West Virginia the closest a team has come to beating the Bulldogs in 2020-21. In their most recent ranked matchup, Gonzaga easily took care of Virginia out east on the road, 98-75. That is the most impressive win I’ve seen from Gonzaga this season. Flying across the country to play one of the finest defenses in the country and getting two points short of triple digits is impressive.
The Dons aren’t a bad team by any stretch, but they are a mediocre WCC team that has to deal with the Bulldogs. It’s all a bit unfair for the rest of the conference to be dealing with a squad that should be in the Pac-12, but Gonzaga makes the WCC money and brings attention, so you won’t hear many complaints. San Francisco goes into Saturday with a record of 10-9 following a 76-68 loss against Pepperdine on Wednesday. Head below for our free Gonzaga vs. San Francisco pick on February 13, 2021.
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. San Francisco Dons NCAA Betting Odds:
Gonzaga vs. San Francisco Prediction:
Gonzaga has been known to start slow in games. They haven’t come out firing on all cylinders often. Just to show how good the Bulldogs are, though, they still end up blowing opponents out despite going through the motions for over ten minutes. This did not happen in their most recent outing, though.
Gonzaga took an early lead against BYU and paced themselves to a 82-71 win. The Cougars tried to claw back, but were met with resistance every time. A close call at halftime against Pacific on February 4 might have been Gonzaga’s wake up call to a slow start. Pacific went into the break with a 32-31 lead on the Bulldogs.
Then the Bulldogs decided to push the pace and the final score looked a whole lot different. Gonzaga almost ended up covering the full game after being down by a point, but settled for a 75-58 win after out scoring Pacific by a score of 45-26. That’s Gonzaga. They can flip a switch at any moment and pull away and turn a close game into a blowout.
Gonzaga has scored an average of 92.7 points per game to lead the NCAA. They are also leading the country from the field with an impressive conversion rate of 54.8%. There hasn’t been any noticeable drop off on the road either, and that’s going to help come March. Gonzaga doesn’t mind playing on the road, as they’ve netted 89 points per game.
Their defense has been showing steady improvement as well. They might be 166th in the NCAA with 69.7 points conceded per game, but those points are skewed because of the power teams they played early on. In their previous five games, Gonzaga has given up 63 points per game. They held San Francisco to 62 points in their first meeting this season. The Dons haven’t been in the best of form recently.
San Francisco are losers in three of their last four games, including back-to-back losses at home against Saint Mary’s, 67-63, and Pepperdine, 76-68, going into Saturday. The key to San Francisco covering this game is more a case of whether Gonzaga cares to blow out the Dons on Saturday. Gonzaga doesn’t really need an epic beatdown to cover 16.5 points, though. By their standards, at least in the WCC, a 17-point win isn’t really a clinic. I thought we’d see 18.5 points here, so Gonzaga still carries some value at 16.5.