South Carolina Gamecocks versus Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four betting preview
Date: Saturday, 1st April
Place: University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, AZ
March madness odds:
South Carolina +6½ (-110) 138½ (-110) +243
Gonzaga -6½ (-110) 138½ (-110) -285
How they got here
The Gamecocks defeated Florida 77-70 on Sunday in the Sweet 16 to advance to their first Final 4 in the history of the school. Sindarius Thornwell had 26 points and seven rebounds, PJ Dozier added 17 points, and Chris Silva scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. “Thornwell was just being Thornwell,” Gators head coach Mike White said. You know, just like tan Stewie being tan Stewie. Gonzaga beat Xavier 83-59 on Saturday to reach the Final 4 for the third time and the second in three years. Nigel Williams-Goss had 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Johnathan Williams added 19 points and eight rebounds. The Bulldogs became the first WCC team since San Francisco in 1957 to advance to the Final 4 and first from the West since UCLA did it three years in a row between 2006 and 2008.
This will be the first time that the Zags and the G-Cocks will play one another.
Players to watch
Thornwell has scored 24 points or more in his last four straight games and is averaging 21.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game and shooting 44.7% from the field and 39.4% from the three-point line. Williams-Goss has been hit-and-miss as of late, alternating between barely breaking or missing the 10-point and mark and 20-or-more performances.
March madness betting trends
South Carolina is 4-0 straight-up and against the spread in its last four games. The total has gone over in three of the Gamecocks’ last four games. The Zags are 7-0 SU in their last seven games. Gonzaga covered the spread on Saturday for the first time in four games. The total has gone under in three of the Bulldogs’ last four games.
What to expect
As No. seed the Zags will be the favourites on Saturday, but South Carolina is no stranger to upsetting higher-seeded teams – most notably the Duke Blue Devils. The Gamecocks will undoubtedly once again go to the well of their defensive pressure to try and sneak past Gonzaga, Chris Silva and Maik Kostar combined for 12 rebounds against Florida, so Przemek Karnowski will have to make his size count if the Zags don’t want to be dominated on the boards again.
This just in
According to Fox Sports, the Gamecocks have all the makings of a Cinderella story, but while “the clock eventually strikes midnight for Cinderella, the South Carolina Gamecocks seem capable of beating the clock.” meanwhile USA Today points to Gonzaga’s redshirting as one of the keys to its success, of which Williams-Goss is the most glowing example.
Should the Bulldogs live up to the March madness odds they would potentially go on to meet March madness betting favourites the North Carolina Tar Heels in the National Championship Game.