The largest and most consequential recreation of the younger school hoops season will happen in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Saturday as No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 3 Iowa meet in a matinee matchup with a lot on the road. Neither workforce has but to lose to this point this season, and including to intrigue, Iowa charges first in adjusted offensive effectivity this season simply narrowly forward of Gonzaga. So, please, put together your self accordingly for all the offense you possibly can deal with.
Main the cost for Iowa is all-everything celebrity Luka Garza, the preseason participant of the yr who to this point appears to be like the half. He is averaging 29.2 factors per recreation — tops amongst all gamers from the key seven conferences — and is coming off two heaters in opposition to Northern Illinois and Iowa State during which he amassed 57 factors on 24 photographs and nailed 8 of 10 3-pointers in that stretch.
For Gonzaga, the star energy has been shared amongst the quartet of Drew Timme, Corey Kispert, Joel Ayayi and Jalen Suggs. Nevertheless it’s Timme and Kispert who’re pacing the Zags by means of three video games of motion, averaging 23.3 factors and 22.3 factors per recreation, respectively. Each might wind up drawing the unenviable project of making an attempt to gradual Garza and to match him in manufacturing, which at this level within the season looks like a futile endeavor.
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Gonzaga: How rusty — or prepared — this Gonzaga workforce will look Saturday stays the largest query. The Zags have been on pause due to COVID-19 optimistic assessments for 2 weeks, and so they final performed a recreation on Dec. 2. Once we noticed them to open the season they regarded undeniably worthy of the No. 1 rating within the sport — with wins over Kansas, Auburn and West Virginia on impartial courts to open the season — however Iowa presents the largest check so far coming off an prolonged layover.
Iowa: All the pieces this season is funneling by means of Garza for Iowa, and with nice cause: He is the second-leading scorer in all of faculty hoops this season with hilarious effectivity besides. Towards the Zags and their fierce frontcourt, it will be powerful for him to feast inside the best way he is achieved to this point. However he is expanded his recreation past the 3-point line this season, making him a risk to attain from wherever at anytime. Garza’s sidekick, Joe Wieskamp, ought to play an enormous issue on this one as effectively. He is coming off a season-high scoring output of 20 factors in opposition to Northern Illinois and he continues to play an enormous position in huge video games because the workforce’s major non-Garza shot-taker.
- When: Saturday, Dec. 19, Midday ET
- The place: Sanford Pentagon — Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- TV: CBS | Stay stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports activities App (Free)
- OTT: CBS Sports activities App (Apple TV, Roku, Hearth TV, Chromecast)
Gonzaga vs. Iowa prediction
I’ve little doubt that Iowa can put up an enormous quantity on offense, however take into account me skeptical that its protection may give it an opportunity to remain within the combine all the way down to the wire. The Hawkeyes have the second-worst protection in adjusted effectivity amongst all Massive Ten groups this season in response to KenPom.com metrics, and in opposition to Gonzaga’s stacked roster that has managed to rank top-20 nationally this season in factors per possession — regardless of two of its video games being in opposition to ranked opponents — I anticipate the Bulldogs to have an enormous scoring day that Iowa cannot preserve tempo with. Decide: Gonzaga 90, Iowa 83
So who wins each school basketball recreation immediately? And which underdogs pull off beautiful upsets? Go to SportsLine now to get picks for each recreation, all from the unbiased mannequin that simulates each recreation 10,000 occasions, and discover out.