The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 14th with the First Four, and then moves on to the First Round on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The No. 3 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs will face the No. 14 seed Grand Canyon Antelopes on Friday, March 17.
Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the matchup.
Once odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.
Game date: Friday, March 17
Game time: 7:25 p.m. ET
TV channel: TruTV
Location: Denver, Colorado
Odds: Gonzaga -14.5
No. 3 Gonzaga
It’s hard to say No. 9 Gonzaga is having a “down year” after finishing the regular season 26-5, but they haven’t looked nearly as dominant as we’ve grown accustomed to in years past. Nonetheless, four of the team’s five losses came against ranked teams, meaning that they took care of business against inferior competition. They also closed out the season on a seven-game winning streak.
Not many teams have a player as talented or experienced as Drew Timme, either. He averaged 21.1 points per game this season to go along with 7.4 rebounds per contest. Timme has played in the biggest moments college basketball has to offer and will be unphased by the pressure. His supporting cast isn’t nearly what it has been in the past few years, but Timme is fully capable of putting the team on his back for multiple games in the tournament.
Record: 27-5, 14-2 WCC
Coach: Mark Few
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 1
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 76
PPP overall: 1.180
Leading scorer: Drew Timme
Quad 1 record: 6-4
Against The Spread: 13-18-1
Over Total: 19-13-0
No. 14 Grand Canyon
The Antelopes are back in the field of 68 after earning an automatic bid from the WAC. Grand Canyon has become a bit of a powerhouse in the conference, winning the WAC tournament two of the last three years. Rayshon Harrison is the scoring leader for the Antelopes at 17.7 points per game, but the key is Grand Canyon’s perimeter shooting. The Antelopes have three rotation players who shoot 40% or better from behind the arc. We’ll see if this rising mid-major can make a surprise run in the tournament with its stellar offense.
Record: 24-11, 11-7 WAC
Coach: Bryce Drew
KenPom overall: 109
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 55
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 198
PPP overall: 1.056
Leading scorer: Rayshon Harrison
Quad 1 record: 1-2
Against The Spread: 15-18-0
Over Total: 25-8-0