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UConn vs Gonzaga Odds, Spread & Picks for Elite Eight

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Updated Mar 24, 2023 · 10:31 PM PDT

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Julian Strawther staring
Mar 23, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Julian Strawther (0) reacts after making a game-winning three point basket against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
  • Gonzaga and UConn meet in the NCAA Tournament West Regional finals on Saturday, March 25
  • No. 4 seed UConn is a 2-point favorite over No. 3 seed Gonzaga at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Read below for Gonzaga vs UConn odds and prediction

No. 4 seed UConn (28-8, 13-7 Big East) is a 2-point favorite over Gonzaga in the NCAA West Regional final at 8:49 pm ET Saturday on TBS at the T-Mobile Arena. The Huskies have won four NCAA Tournaments, the last in 2014.

No. 3 seed Gonzaga (31-5, 14-2 West Coast) overcame a 13-point deficit behind Drew Timme’s 36 points to beat UCLA 79-76 Thursday. The Zags are in the Elite Eight for the third time in five seasons.

UConn vs UCLA Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
UConn Huskies -2 (-110) -118 Over 153.5 (-110)
UCLA Bruins +2 (-110) +140 Under 156.5 (-110)

UConn is 24-11-1 ATS, the sixth-best cover percentage in Division I this season, and have covered all three games in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies are 7-1 at a neutral site and are 21-16 against the over. Gonzaga is 14-20-1 ATS  but 5-3 ATS in its last eight. The Zags are 21-14 against the over.

UConn has won three of the previous five games between the two, all decided by five points or less. The Zags won the last meeting 73-70 in the third place game in the Battle4Atlantis on Nov. 27, 2015 in the Bahamas. The teams have met once before in the West Regional final, when UConn posted a 67-62 victory over the Bulldogs in Phoenix en route to its first NCAA title.


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Gonzaga Comes on Strong

The Zags overcame a 13-point deficit three minutes into the second half to beat favored UCLA 79-76 on Julian Strawther’s late long-distance three-pointer, but the game turned when reserve guard Malachi Smith became Robin to Drew Timme’s Batman. Timme had his way against the Bruins’ interior defense with a 36-point, 13-rebound double-double, but it was not until Smith asserted himself that the Zags found the gear they needed. Smith scored 14 points in 24 minutes, and he had 10 points in the Zags’ 20-3 run for a 72-62 lead with 2:40 left, capping that streak with a three-pointer from the top of the key.

Timme has scored at least 20 points in his last 10 NCAA Tournament games, an NCAA record, and he has 85 points and 27 rebounds in the first three tournament games . He was 16 of 24 from the field against the Bruins, who were at a severe disadvantage when center Adem Bona could not play because of a shoulder injury. Because of Timme’s accuracy, the Zags lead Division I in field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage while averaging Division I-high 87 points per game.

Strawther entered the UCLA game averaging 15.3 points and 6.1 rebounds with a team-high 77 threes, and while he was only 5- of 15 from the field, his third three-pointer of the game pushed the Zags into the Elite Eight for the third time in five seasons. Strawther missed the same long three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation in an overtime loss at Saint Mary’s this season, but that was then.

UConn Has No Trouble Advancing

UConn has played like the team that spent spent two weeks at No. 2 in the AP Top 25 after starting 14-0 while boat-racing its three NCAA Tournament opponents, most recently Arkansas. The Huskies dominated the paint and the boards in an 88-65 victory over the Hogs in the Sweet Sixteen on Thursday. UConn shot 57.4 percent from the field, had a 43-31 rebounding edge and held the the out-sized Porker Pigs to 31.3 percent shooting. UConn, which led by 29 points five minutes into the second half, has out-scsored its three NCAA Tournament foes by 72 points.

UConn 6’9″, 240-pound big man Adama Sanogo (17.9 points, 7.4 rebounds) will be found in the low second round of NBA mock draft boards, but he is a physical presence inside and can bully his way through less physical opponents. Sanogo had 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots in 24 minutes Thursday after getting 52 points and 21 rebounds in the first two NCAA games.

The Huskies have a variety of offensive options — catch-and-shoot guards Jordan Hawkins and Tristan Newton can score inside and out, point guard Andre Jackson Jr. distributes, and they can get even bigger when agile 7’2″ freshman Donovan Clingan enters.

UConn vs Gonzaga Prediction

The Huskies looked like their current version for the first two months of the season, beating Alabama by 15 points before hitting a rough patch early in Big East play, losing five of six. Their four losses since Jan. 15 have been by one, three, three and two points, the last three to NCAA entries Marquette, Creighton and Xavier. The game will be billed as a matchup of big men in Timme and Sanogo, but they are different players. Timme is more athletic and has better footwork around the basket; Sanogo just keeps pounding. Both teams have strong supporting casts, but Timme and his Zags are the play here.

  • Pick: Gonzaga +2 (-110)
  • Season CBK: 50-28 ATS

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