The No. 1 team in the country will welcome Northwestern State to Gonzaga University in Spokane on Monday night. Northwestern State faces a daunting task against the Bulldogs, who look most deserving of the No. 1 spot in the nation. They go into Monday with one win on the season against the Champion Tigers on December 12. The who?
Champion Christian College from Hot Springs, Arkansas. I know Oaklawn Race Track is in Hot Springs, but wasn’t aware of the Champion Tigers. Besides that win, the Demons have lost seven games for a cumulative record of 1-7. They finished last season with a record of 15-15 and 11-9 in the Southland Conference.
Northwestern State is trying to replace Chudier Bile, who was their do-it-all forward that was the focal point of the offense and defense. Bile was the centerpiece of the Demons, but as a senior, his time was up at Northwestern State. Georgetown jumped on the opportunity to invite Bile to their campus as a grad transfer. Bile could play down low, pull up from deep, or beat a defense on the drive inside the paint.
Bile scored an average of 14.3 points a game, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. He led the Demons in points and rebounds to lead the team to a record of 16-16. Without Bile, they would have much worse off. How much worse? Well, look at their record of 1-7 heading into Monday night in Spokane. That speaks for itself. With Bile, they weren’t going to win this game, and without Bile, we’ll see if they can make this competitive for at least two or three minutes.
Gonzaga are a perfect 4-0 with wins over Kansas, Auburn, West Virginia, and Iowa. That is three top-10 teams cut down by the Bulldogs. Their most recent win was over No. 3 Iowa, a 99-88 victory, as their offense continued to roll and play unstoppable basketball. There isn’t a player on the floor for the Demons that can line up with the starting five of Gonzaga. They have 38 points to work with on the spread, though, so we’ll see if they can keep it within that. Head below for our free Northwestern State vs. Gonzaga pick for December 21, 2020.
Northwestern State Demons vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs NCAA Betting Odds:
Northwestern State vs. Gonzaga Prediction:
Northwestern State opened the season with a tough matchup against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. That did not go well for the Demons. The first game without Bile showed that it’s going to be really tough without him in the lineup. Texas Tech hammered Northwestern State by a score of 101-58.
There was nothing positive to take from that game. The Red Raiders dominated in all facets of the game offensively and defensively. Northwestern State were unable to respond in their next outing, as Texas-Arlington dispatched the Demons for a 80-71 win. It was Louisiana Tech’s turn up next to torch their soft defense. Louisiana Tech scored 91 points in a 91-77 final.
The Demons’ defense have shown no sign of improvement following their slow start. They most recently allowed Missouri State to score 94 points in a 94-67 game on December 12. Overall on the season, Northwestern State have conceded 82.3 points a game for 309th in the nation. The time off likely didn’t do much good for Northwestern State. And keep in mind that the Demons have not played an offense as good as Gonzaga. Not even close.
If Gonzaga wants to go over 100 points, they should be able to achieve that with ease. Against much better defenses, the Bulldogs scored an average of 94.5 points a game. They are fourth in points per game and fourth in shooting percentage at 54.3% in the NCAA. 38 points is a lot of points, but I don’t see a scenario where Northwestern State keeps this game within 40. The Texas Tech game likely provides a blueprint for what happens tonight. A 103-60 win for Gonzaga looks reasonable.