College basketball’s top-ranked team Gonzaga is on a quest to be the first team to win the national championship undefeated since Indiana in 1975-76. The Bulldogs will face their toughest remaining test within the West Coast Conference on Monday when they head to Provo, Utah, to face BYU.
The last time these teams met, BYU was unable to exploit a Gonzaga team that ranks 202nd in the country in 3-point shooting percentage defense. The Cougars made just four of their 16
3-point attempts in an 86-69 loss on Jan. 7.
BYU will need to shoot better to keep pace with a Bulldogs bunch that leads the country in both points per game and points scored on a per-possession basis and features four players who register at least 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Corey Kispert is Gonzaga’s leading scorer at 19.9 ppg and Joel Ayayi leads the way with 7.3 rebounds per game.
Gonzaga does not turn the ball over much to start with, ranking 26th in terms of the percentage of their possessions that end in a turnover, but BYU ranking 327th in steals on a per-possession basis on defense should give an already efficient Bulldogs team even more clean possessions.
With Gonzaga also ranking 11th in the country in rebound rate and BYU having just two players that pull in at least five rebounds per game, the rematch from earlier this year should play much like the first showdown — a dominant Gonzaga victory.
The play: Gonzaga, -10.5.
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