Final Four Odds & Aengus Moorehead Free NCAAB Expert Picks: South Carolina Gamecocks vs Gonzaga Bulldogs
Saturday, April 01, 2017
by Aengus Moorehead

South Carolina Looks to Continue Cinderella Run Against Gonzaga

Final Four Odds & Aengus Moorehead Free NCAAB Expert Picks: South Carolina Gamecocks vs Gonzaga Bulldogs

#7 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gamecocks: 26-10 (5-2 N)
Bulldogs: 36-1 (11-0 N)
When: 6:09 PM ET, Saturday, April 1, 2017
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
TV: CBS

The Story:
The seventh-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks have already made school history and will attempt to pursue their quest for a first NCAA final appearance as they prepare to face the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the first Final Four showdown set to be staged Saturday evening at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The two schools will meet for the first time ever.

While the Gamecocks waited thirteen years to just make the NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs are in the Big Dance for the 19th year in a row but it will be their first Final Four invite in their school program’s history. Always cast as the underdogs whenever they reach a high strata in the tournament, the Bulldogs are now tagged as the uncontested favorites but are they suited to play that role?

The Bulldogs are notorious at failing miserably when every pundits in the world expect them to prevail. The pressure will be even more palpable for Gonzaga to not only win but to pulverize a team that was widely considered as a bracket-filler rather than a legitimate contender. It is easy to justify that very point when you lose six of your last nine games with just one significant win which was against a team they triumphed over to get where they are today.

However, when you beat teams like Duke, Baylor and the aforementioned Florida Gators by more than seven points as heavy underdogs, you must do something right or just playing out of your depth which could be surfacing in a hurry. Yet, one thing the Gamecocks have done superbly is wear down the opposition collectively and dominate the second half. They outscored their four adversaries by an average of 13.5 points in the second frame as their elite defense limited the damage.

The Gamecocks play in the SEC where size matters and have done well in the conference with plus-sized men hovering around the court. The Bulldogs certainly fit that bill with two seven-footers and a 6-9 forward up front. But the man that really runs the show is point guard Nigel Williams-Goss who showed his All-American form in the 83-59 pounding of Xavier in the West Regional final. Williams-Goss had a tournament-high 23 points with 8 rebounds and four assists.

The Bulldogs just don’t have any deficiencies and is as well-balanced a team the Gamecocks have yet to face. The Bulldogs’ defense is a tough nut to crack too while South Carolina has had its scoring drought on many occasions this season. High-scoring guard Sindarius Thornwell will be on Gonzaga’s main radar and he and the Gamecocks’ excruciating defense will have to be at their best to score on Gonzaga as well as controlling the boards. Not an easy task.

BetOnline has the Gonzaga listed as 7-point favorites and the game's total open at 138.

#7 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four Odds

Gm# Team
Opener
811 South Carolina
138
812 Gonzaga
-7
  Moneyline
+222/-270

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In their last action, Gonzaga was a 83-59 winner at home against Musketeers. They covered the -8.5-point spread as favorites.

South Carolina was a 77-70 winner in their most recent outing on the road against Gators. They covered the +3-point spread as underdogs.

#7 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four Odds & Trends

South Carolina:
Current Streak: won 4 straight games.
South Carolina is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
South Carolina is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games

Gonzaga:
Current Streak: won 7 straight games.
Gonzaga is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Gonzaga is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Gonzaga's last 5 games

The result:
The Bulldogs are by far the better team here in every aspect regarding talent as well as experience. If the Gamecocks can rattle the Bulldogs early in the game and keep this affair close midway through this contest, South Carolina could push the recall button and use it as a springboard as they did earlier in their fairy-tale journey by dominating in the latter stage of the game. Gonzaga however, is too close to the championship to let this one slip away but the Gamecocks keep it close. Take South Carolina +7 and the Over 138.

Aengus Moorehead Free NCAAB Expert Picks: South Carolina +7 & 138 Over at MyBookie

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Tags
gonzaga bulldogs - nigel williams-goss - sindarius thornwell - south carolina gamecocks

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