Gonzaga Bulldogs Vs. Wichita State Shockers 3/23/13 Ryan’s Free College Basketball Pick Against the Spread
The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Wichita State Shockers meet in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday in Salt Lake City.
Gonzaga survived a potential upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament, sneaking past Southern 64-58 on Thursday. Kelly Olynyk led the way for Gonzaga, scoring 17 of his 21 points in the second half to help the Zags advance to the next round. The Bulldogs are Cinderella no more, and an end to the season anywhere other than Atlanta would be a major disappointment. Gonzaga has the talent to follow up the first No. 1 ranking with an initial Final Four appearance. Olynyk is the difference-maker, but there’s quality depth at all positions and size to match up with anyone. Olynyk averages 17.7 points per game on 66.8% from the field while pulling down 7 boards a game. F Elias Harris is averaging 14.6 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per contest. G Kevin Pangos chips in with 11.7 points per game and 3.3 assists. Gonzaga hasn’t played the toughest of schedules but they did beat the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State this season. The Bulldogs made the tournament last year and lost to Ohio State in the third round. Gonzaga has lost their second game of the NCAA Tournament three years in a row.
The Shockers defeated Pittsburgh 73-55 in the second round of the NCAA tournament to move on to the third round. Malcolm Armstead led Wichita State with 22 points; Cleanthony Early added 21 and Carl Hall had 11. Early leads the team in scoring with 14 points per game, along with 5.2 rebounds per game. Armstead averages 9.8 points per game and averages a team-high 4 assists per contest. Hall is the only other player averaging in double figures with 12.8 points per game, while averaging 7.2 rebounds per game and shooting a team-high 55.8% from the field. Wichita State appeared in the tournament last year when they were beat by VCU in the second round. The Shockers didn’t have momentum in their favor heading into the tournament, having lost three of their last five, two of which were against Creighton. But they bounced back well against the Panthers on Thursday. Coach Marshall was coach of the year in the Missouri Valley conference because this team made up of junior college transfers and inexperienced upperclassman overachieved after losing four starters. Wichita State earned wins over VCU, Iowa, and Creighton this season.
Wichita State has very little experience on this team and they have only played a few solid defenses this season. However, I think they can cause some problems for Gonzaga in this game. The Shockers are one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the country which comes in handy when going up against Gonzaga. The Shockers also have the ability to get to the basket and spread the floor, something that gave Gonzaga problems against Southern. I think Wichita State keeps this one close and might pull off the upset.