Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Pick & Prediction for Tuesday

Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Pick & Prediction for Tuesday article feature image
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Photo by David Becker/Getty Images. Pictured: Aidan Mahaney (Saint Mary’s)

Gonzaga vs Saint Mary's Pick & Prediction

Tuesday, March 12
9 p.m. ET
ESPN
Gonzaga Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
-3.5
-110
138.5
-110o / -110u
-180
Saint Mary's Odds
Point SpreadTotal PointsMoneyline
+3.5
-110
138.5
-110o / -110u
+150
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Welcome to the 2024 WCC Championship between the Saint Mary's Gaels and Gonzaga Bulldogs.

It comes as no surprise that both teams made the tournament final, and the Bulldogs are a slight favorite.


Gonzaga Bulldogs

There's no question that the Bulldogs have shaken off their early-season struggles. Their offense has finally kicked into full gear, and there's been no turning back since their win over Kentucky last month.

The biggest difference maker for the Zags has been Ben Gregg. Ever since he was inserted into the starting lineup, his impact has been remarkable on both ends of the floor.

Against the Dons, Gregg shot 4-of-7 from deep and finished with 17 points. The inside-outside game with him and Graham Ike has been an extraordinary combo, and they're a big reason for the late-season turnaround.

As impressive as the Bulldogs have been, I have concerns entering the matchup with the Gaels. The absence of Jefferson may cause many defensive issues for the Gaels, but the 3-point line may favor SMC.

The Bulldogs don't rely heavily on the triple, but they're shooting 36% from deep. For a team that doesn't shoot many, it's tough to gauge whether or not they're an elite 3-point shooting team or not.

If the Zags' offense is not humming, it's tough to trust the defense, especially out on the perimeter.

The Zags are also outmatched in the rebounding department.


Saint Mary's Gaels

The Gaels handled Santa Clara in last night's semifinal, and it was impressive that the offense bounced back after eight days of rest.

The question entering the "rubber match" with the Bulldogs is if the Gaels' interior defense can hold up. The loss of forward Joshua Jefferson was a huge for their defense, and it was evident in the season finale against the Zags.

If the Gaels can succeed without Jefferson, they have a really good shot at winning the game. The Gaels are the more complete defensive team and are better at rebounding on both sides of the floor than the Zags.

They need to be better on the offensive end compared to their last matchup with the Bulldogs. The Gaels shot under 40% from the field for the game.

There's no questioning the talented backcourt of Aidan Mahaney and Augustus Marciullonis. The Bulldogs are 45th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, but they got exposed by the Dons' guards last night.

The Gaels are a much better 3-point shooting team than the Dons, so I expect them to cash in on their open looks, unlike the last matchup.


Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary's

Betting Pick & Prediction

Jefferson is such a key component to the Gaels' defense, and he's especially important against a terrific frontcourt of the Bulldogs.

But Gaels head coach Randy Bennett has had nine days in between matchups to make adjustments on the defensive end.

Even without Jefferson, I can fully trust the Gaels' defense to make key stops in a close contest. The biggest difference to me is their perimeter defense, where the Gaels are eighth in the country in 3-point attempts allowed per contest.

The rebounding edge is always crucial in a tight game, and the Gaels have the edge once again. I doubt that the Gaels shoot under 40% for the game like the last matchup, and I think they have revenge on their mind.

Besides the loss to the Zags, the Gaels have been the more consistent team throughout conference play. I'm happy to take the points in what's expected to be a close contest, and I predict that the Gaels will cut down the nets in the end.

Pick: Saint Mary's +3.5 (Play to PK)

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