#1 Gonzaga vs #2 UCLA

#1 Gonzaga vs #2 UCLA | NCAAB Betting Predictions & Expert Analysis

Maybe the biggest game of the 2021-22 college basketball regular season is Tuesday when No. 1 Gonzaga faces No. 2 UCLA from a neutral site in Las Vegas. The Zags will be favored on the NCAAB odds because they probably will be favored in every game this season.

How to Bet Gonzaga vs. UCLA NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 10 PM ET
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: WatchESPN
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (Gonzaga will be favored)

Last Meeting

These schools had an epic game in last season’s Final Four, won 93-90 in overtime by Gonzaga. Then-Zags freshman Jalen Suggs, now in the NBA with the Orlando Magic, banked in a shot at the buzzer from near the Final Four logo in one of the great endings in the sport’s history. The game featured 15 ties and 19 lead changes. Even though they lost, the Bruins snapped a streak of 27 straight double-digit wins by Gonzaga, which was unbeaten.  Johnny Juzang had 29 points for the Bruins, including a 15-footer with 1:27 left in regulation that helped them claw back from seven down to tie it at 79. Juzang’s putback with 3.3 seconds left in OT tied it at 90, and set the stage for Suggs.

Why Bet on Gonzaga?

The Zags have the likely No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft in freshman center Chet Holmgren. He was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Week the league office announced Monday. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 3.5 blocks. Holmgren also shot 75.0 percent from the field and 100.0 percent from the free-throw line. For the season, Holmgren is averaging 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 blocks.

In the season-opening win over Dixie State, Holmgren had 14 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and seven blocks. Per ESPN Stats and Info, Holmgren was the first player over the last 25 seasons with 10 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five blocked shots in his Division I debut. Holmgren, Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme were all named to the preseason Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award Player of the Year preseason watch lists.

Timme was the fourth-fastest player to reach 1,000 points in his career under Coach Mark Few. He reached the feat in 69 games. Dan Dickau reached the feat in 51 games, which is the fewest amount of games by a player under Few.

The Zags are No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll for the 19th straight time. A 20th straight week would match San Francisco’s run from 1955-56 for the fourth-longest streak in the poll’s history. Gonzaga leads the country with 97 consecutive appearances in the AP Top 25, with Villanova second at 42.

“It’s important for everybody if you want to make the NCAA tournament,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of facing UCLA. “If you want to accrue a high seed, you have to play really, really good teams. I think it’s important for college basketball.”

Under Few, GU has won six tournaments during the week of Thanksgiving, and played in 10 of the 14 tournament championship games.

Why Bet on UCLA?

This is the 72nd season of the AP men’s college basketball poll; No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 UCLA will mark the 43rd all-time meeting between the No. 1 and

No. 2 teams in the AP Top 25. It would’ve been the 44th instance, if not for last year’s early December meeting between Gonzaga (then No. 1) and Baylor (then No. 2) getting canceled just before tipoff due to multiple COVID positives on Gonzaga’s roster. Of course, Baylor ended up beating Gonzaga in the national title game.

Twenty-five of the 43 meetings of No. 1 vs. No. 2 have come in the regular season, including the past eight times (including Tuesday night). The No. 2-ranked team is 13-11 in regular-season affairs. No. 1 leads overall 22-20. This is UCLA’s 10th appearance in a No. 1-vs.-No. 2 game, which will break the record of nine it shared with Kentucky. A No. 1 vs. No. 2 game has never featured Gonzaga until Tuesday.

UCLA has not faced the nation’s No. 1-ranked team during the regular season since Dec. 3, 2016. The Bruins (ranked No. 11 at the time) defeated No. 1-ranked Kentucky at Rupp Arena, 97-92, before a nationally-televised audience in Lexington, Ky.

The Bruins have registered a 7-4 record against “top-five” ranked competition (AP poll ranking) since the start of the 2015-16 season. Those victories include a pair of wins over No. 1-ranked Kentucky (Dec. 2015, Dec. 2016), back-to-back wins in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight last March and a win this season against Villanova. The Bruins have not been ranked No. 1 in either poll during the season since the 2006-07 campaign.

Juniors Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang were named to the 50-person watch list for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award in early November. Under third-year head coach Mick Cronin, the Bruins have gone 21-7 in games decided by five points or fewer (includes all overtime games, regardless of score margin).

Expert Prediction

  • Gonzaga 78, UCLA 75

 

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