The Loyola Marymount Lions and Gonzaga Bulldogs will finally try to fit this game into their schedules on Saturday night in Spokane. This matchup was originally scheduled for a month ago, but Covid had other ideas and they’re hoping for no more delays on Saturday night. Nothing has changed for Gonzaga since last month. They are still undefeated and slicing through the West Coast Conference without any hiccups. Gonzaga enters tonight with a perfect record of 23-0.
Despite their record of 23-0, you will hear calls for Gonzaga to be removed from the No. 1 spot in the NCAA. Soft schedule is often the argument, but as a counter argument, Gonzaga has beaten power teams, including Kansas, Virginia, Iowa, and West Virginia. I will agree with the people that argue Gonzaga hasn’t played a quality team in a long time. This is true, as the last time they played a ranked team was December 26.
Albeit, that was incredibly impressive, with Gonzaga flying to the east coast to beat Virginia, 98-75. That is one heck of an impressive win against that defense. A lot of teams don’t sniff 60 points against Virginia, let alone two points away from triple digits on the board. The Bulldogs are coming off a 89-75 win against Santa Clara on Thursday. It was closer than the oddsmakers projected, but the Bulldogs were still on fire offensively.
Gonzaga has proven their point against one of the best defenses in the NCAA against Virginia. However, it’s not going to matter if Gonzaga goes cold in the NCAA Tournament. We’ve seen Gonzaga hyped in past tournaments, and get removed from service earlier than the experts predicted. Gonzaga will likely steamroll to the Sweet Sixteen, and that’s where things might begin to get interesting if the Bulldogs can’t hit their shots, like they’ve been able to do all season.
Loyola Marymount hasn’t had a bad season by any means, but they’re stuck playing in a conference with the No. 1 team in the nation. Maybe if the Bulldogs weren’t in the WCC, they’d have a shot at winning the conference tournament. The Lions head into Spokane with a record of 12-7 and 7-4 in the West Coast. They’re third in the conference, behind BYU and Gonzaga. Loyola was in good form with a 81-74 win over Pepperdine on Thursday. It was a nice response after BYU pulled away for a 88-71 win. Head below for our free Loyola Marymount vs. Gonzaga pick on February 27, 2021.
Loyola Marymount Lions vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs NCAA Betting Odds:
Loyola Marymount vs. Gonzaga Prediction:
Loyola Marymount were unable to withstand the offensive pressure from the BYU Cougars in their 88-71 loss last Saturday. If they didn’t care for BYU’s offense, don’t expect the Lions to like what Gonzaga is going to bring to the floor tonight. It was one of four games in their last five outings that Loyola has allowed more than 70 points. Now, they must contend with the most dangerous offense in the NCAA.
I can confidently say that after Gonzaga made Virginia look like a high school team. No offense to Baylor or Michigan, but Gonzaga can light a scoreboard up in an instant against any defense in the country. The Bulldogs are leading the NCAA with 93.2 points scored per game. They are also first in field goal percentage, as Gonzaga is connecting at a magical clip of 55.2%.
Gonzaga can win in a lot of different ways, so planning for their offense is next to impossible. One game they might beat teams with the deep ball, or bang it down underneath and attack the rim. They can adjust to what a defense throws at them tremendously. In their last five games, they’ve stayed consistent with 92.8 points recorded per contest.
If there’s anything about Gonzaga’s numbers, they’ve been consistent throughout the entire season. There hasn’t been a handful of games to skew their numbers up in their favor. They’ve consistently scored around 90 points a game, and could have easily eclipsed 100 in several outings this season. Expect Gonzaga to do whatever they want offensively at home tonight.
Gonzaga has been out of sorts at times defensively, though, and this is where Baylor and Michigan could hurt them. They’ve allowed 69.3 points per game for 148th in the NCAA. This is in the West Coast Conference. Put them in a better conference and I’m not so sure they’re allowing under 70 points a game.
The Lions have been solid recently, with 75 points per game in their previous five, and at least 70 points in six of their previous seven games. They are not going to slow down the Bulldogs’ offense, but might be able to fire away and keep things close with their offense. I handicapped this total around 156, so the OVER carries some decent value.