#4 Gonzaga Bulldogs (30-4) vs #13 UNC Greensboro (27-7)
College Basketball | NCAA Tournament | Thursday, March 15th, 2018 | 1:30 PM ET | Taco Bell Arena
Spread: Gonzaga -12.5, UNC Greensboro +12.5
FREE MARCH MADNESS PREVIEW GONZAGA BULLDOGS VS UNC GREENSBORO SPARTANS
Don’t sleep on the Spartans. UNC Greensboro is one of the most-well polished 13 seeds in recent memory and will have a ton to prove regarding the spreadsheets. As a mostly unknown entity, the UNC Greensboro Spartans are one of college basketball’s elite defensive teams. In fact, this team ranked 6th in points allowed out of the entire NCAA. Yes, they play in a weak conference, but when the Spartans played out of conference earlier this season, they impressed so much so that they are the 13th seed in this tournament. When UNC Greensboro played number one ranked Virginia, they were able to keep the Cavaliers to just 60 points. Outside of that impressive performance, UNC Greensboro has a win over NC State who is also in the Big Dance. This squad is definitely not a powerhouse on offense but they have enough firepower to keep up and make games close. Francis Alonso and Marvin Smith are the only players on this team that average double digits in points, however, UNC Greensboro has 4 players in the 8 points per game range. Playing tough defense will be a given for this team, the real question is on the side of offensive consistency. If the Spartans can get out to an early lead, there is no telling who will win this game.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are back and slightly upset about their seeding. For a team that has wins over Ohio State, Creighton, Washinton, and Saint Mary’s, a 4th seed is not what was expected for this talented squad. In fact, Gonzaga only has losses to Florida, Villanova, San Diego State, and Saint Mary’s, which are all good losses. None of those losses were necessarily blowouts and all four of those teams have been ranked in the top 25 at one point in the season. As disappointing as selection Sunday may have been, the Bulldogs will need to get their head out of the gutter if they want to make sure that they aren’t the annual bracket buster. This game will be extremely challenging for a team that does not really have a superstar scorer. Team-play is everything for Gonzaga as 5 separate players are scoring in double digits. There is not a huge chink in the armor for the Bulldogs and in fact, this may be one of the best lineups that they have ever had. With tons of depth on this team, who will step up and ensure that Gonzaga moves on to the round of 32.
COVER THE SPREAD FREE PREDICTION
It is March and anything can happen no matter how deep you try to analyze these games. I could easily see multiple different situations in which UNC Greensboro edges out Gonzaga, but I have a hard time believing that one of the most disciplined schools would let that happen. The Bulldogs are class personified and will win this game by a small margin. Bettors should look to place some money on UNC Greensboro’s spread if they want an easy payday.