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No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Gonzaga preview, picks for second round of 2021 NCAA Tournament

The Oklahoma Sooners and Gonzaga Bulldogs meet at Hinkle Fieldhouse in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Gonzaga Bulldogs players celebrate after defeating the Norfolk State Spartans in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Oklahoma held off No.9 Missouri in a close game on Saturday, but will now have to face the most dangerous team in this year’s NCAA Tournament. No. 1 Gonzaga is the odds-on favorite to win it all and secured yet another blowout victory in the round of 64 to kick off its weekend. The Sooners will look to slay Goliath, but the Bulldogs have shown few signs of weakness so far.

The game will tip-off on Monday at 2:40 p.m. and be broadcast on CBS.

No. 8 Oklahoma 16-10 (9-8 Big 12)

First round: Defeated No. 9 Missouri 72-68
KenPom rating: 4 Overall, 34 Offense, 47 Defense
NET ranking: 36, (6-9 vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Austin Reaves (17.7 ppg)
Key stat: Oklahoma averages just 11.1 turnovers per game

Oklahoma was missing a key player in De’Vion Harmon in the first round of March Madness, but Austin Reaves and Brady Manek were more than enough to handle business against Missouri. The duo combined for 35 points on 50% shooting, while Elijah Hark notched a double-double as a Harmon fill-in. The Sooners’ field goal percentage as a whole wasn’t great, but their 46.7% shooting from three on Saturday could give them a chance against most teams.

Players not named Reaves, Manek, or Harkless shot 31% from the field. Role-players will have to contribute more for the Sooners to have a shot against Gonzaga.

No. 1 Gonzaga 27-0 (15-0 WCC)

First round: Defeated No. 16 Norfolk State 98-55
KenPom rating: 1 Overall, 1 Offense, 8 Defense
NET ranking: 1 (8-0 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Corey Kispert (19.2 ppg)
Key stat: Gonzaga leads the country in everything ppg with 92.1.

Gonzaga is on track to go undefeated en route to a national championship and put on a dominant display in the round of 64. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer — Corey Kispert — poured in a game-high 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, and the rest of his team was efficient for the most part as well. Gonzaga’s ridiculously high shooting percentages were matched by its stellar defense. The Bulldogs held the Spartans to a mere 19 field goals. It’s to see any team taking down a program this well-rounded.

Gonzaga made 55% of its field goals, 51% of its threes, and outrebounded Norfolk state by 23.

March Madness Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Gonzaga -15
Point total: 154
Moneyline: Gonzaga -1430, Oklahoma +850

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Gonzaga -15
Point total pick: Over 154
Pick to Win: Gonzaga -1430

Gonzaga has been ridiculously better than just about every team it’s played this year, and wins by double-digits even in its worst games. Barn burners are commonplace for the Bulldogs, and their victory is as close to a sure thing as it gets. The only one of these that’s at risk of not hitting is the spread, as Oklahoma is a quality team. But we think the Bulldogs continue to lay it on thick this weekend.

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