Final Four: South Carolina (26-10) vs. Gonzaga (36-1) Prediction & Game Preview
NCAA Tournament: South Carolina vs. Gonzaga fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, April 1
Game Time: 6:09 pm ET
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
What’s the deal with Gonzaga?
Do you believe now?
Much-maligned for most of the season because of the mediocre conference competition, Gonzaga more than proved that early season wins over Arizona, Florida and Iowa State were the real deal by keeping it all going in the NCAAs.
Have the Zags been dominant on the way to Glendale? They were against Xavier in a 83-59 victory that unleashed all the power of the best team in the program’s history.
The scoring was balanced, the three-point shooting was stellar – hitting 50% of the tries – and the defense was fantastic, allowing the Musketeers to connect on just 36% from the field and 2-of-16 from three.
One of the best-shooting teams in the country, the Bulldogs are versatile, steady, and unflappable. However, now that they got to the big show, they’re the stars. They’re no longer a cute story in any way.
What’s the deal with South Carolina?
It’s easy to get caught up in the surprise factor of a No. 7 seed getting to the Final Four, but the storyline overshadows what’s actually happening.
The Gamecocks have been amazing.
No duh – you don’t get to the Final Four without playing well, but in blowing away Marquette and Baylor, and being tougher than Duke and Florida really, really is impressive.
This wasn’t supposed to be the team that buckled down in crunch time. It’s been the tougher team, the smarter team, and the better team. There hasn’t been anything fluky about it.
They couldn’t hit from three against the Gators, and they struggled on the fire throw line. But they forced 16 turnovers, came up with the timely plays, and got yet another wonderful performance out of the silky-smooth stroke of Sindarius Thornton, who came up with 26 points.
The Gamecocks aren’t going to bomb away from the outside against the Zags, and they’re not going to move the ball all that well. But they don’t make mistakes and they’re going to crank up one of the best defenses Gonzaga has seen all year.
What’s Going To Happen
Often times, the teams the play at a whole other level throughout the the first four games of the tournament play differently under the pressure and the glare of the Final Four spotlight.
And don’t forget the entire week the other team gets to prepare.
South Carolina has gone on a great run, but Gonzaga has been this good all season long. The Bulldogs have more options and are far more versatile.
It’s not going to be easy for the Bulldogs, and the Gamecocks will never turn down the intensity, but there will be just enough cold USC shooting runs that it won’t be able to overcome.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Gonzaga 81, South Carolina 72
Line: Gonzaga -6.5, o/u: 138
ATS Confidence: 2.5
5: Leave Vegas richer in body, mind & spirit
1: Leave the sportsbook, get tickets for Menopause The Musical or Puppetry of the Penis