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No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Georgia State: Preview, picks for first round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Georgia State meet at the Moda Center in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

For the second year in a row, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they’ll get a matchup with the No. 16 seed Georgia State Panthers on Thursday, March 17th. The game will get started at 4:15 p.m. ET from the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon and can be seen on TNT. Gonzaga is listed as 24-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 1 Gonzaga: 26-3 (13-1 WCC): Auto Bid

KenPom rating: 1 Overall, 1 Offense, 7 Defense
NET ranking: 1, (10-3 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Drew Timme
Key stat: Gonzaga has five players scoring more than 11 points per game.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are coming off a loss in the national title game last season, and they’d love to get back there for another chance at winning it all. The Bulldogs lost their final game of the regular season against the Saint Mary’s Gaels before rallying to win the conference tournament championship.

Watch for Gonzaga to be just about unstoppable offensively. They rate No. 1 overall in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, and they’re going against a defense that rates outside the top 100.

No. 16 Georgia State: 18-10 (9-5 Sun Belt): Auto Bid

KenPom rating: 151 Overall, 201 Offense, 114 Defense
NET ranking: 159 (0-1 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Corey Allen
Key stat: Corey Allen went for 29 points in the final two games of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

The Georgia State Panthers are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2018-19 season. The program hasn’t won a game during March Madness since 2000-01, and it would take one of the biggest upsets in tournament history if they add win No. 1 on Thursday.

Watch for Corey Allen to try to carry this team for their best chance at pulling off a shocker. He is their top scorer and went off in the conference tournament from three-point range, knocking down 11-of-15 from long range in the previous two games.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Gonzaga -23.5
Point total: 148.5
Moneyline: Gonzaga -10000, Georgia State +3300

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Gonzaga -23.5
Point total pick: Over 148.5
Pick to Win: Gonzaga -10000

Gonzaga doesn’t need to win by this many points to prove a point, but they will. It’s tough to see Georgia State limit anything the Bulldogs will do offensively. Gonzaga has the top-rated offense in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency, and they average No. 14 in possessions per game making it even more likely to pull away for a major blowout in Round 1.

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