Gonzaga & BYU Enter West Coast Championship on Hot Shooting Sprees

Willie Bee

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 1:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018 1:27 PM UTC

Gonzaga and BYU are each ripping the nets at the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas, and we have a free college basketball pick for their championship showdown Tuesday night. 

Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-4 SU, 13-16-1 ATS) vs. BYU Cougars (24-9 SU, 16-14 ATS)Free NCAAB Pick: OverBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Close your eyes and hop into my time machine as we travel back to 1997. That was a year before the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays played their first MLB seasons, and the Expos were still in Montreal. It was four years before the tragic events of September 11th, and more than a decade prior to the United States electing its first black president. Think of all the changes you have personally experienced in those 21 years.

Now open your eyes and let this sink in: 1997 was the last time the Gonzaga Bulldogs were not in the West Coast Conference Championship Game. Mark Few wasn’t even Gonzaga’s head coach in 1997, instead working under Dan Monson. He took over two years later and Tuesday will lead the Bulldogs into their 21st straight title tilt at Orleans Arena in Sin City. Their opponents will be the BYU Cougars, the third time in five seasons for the same matchup.

Can Both Teams Continue Torrid Shooting?

National No. 6 Gonzaga used a 21-7 spurt during the middle of the first half of Monday’s clash against San Francisco to ease to an 88-60 win over the Dons and reach tonight’s finals. Favored by 13, the Bulldogs tore up the nets for a second straight game, connecting on 32 of 60 field goals to leave them shooting nearly 57% for the tournament. Killian Tillie once again led the charge with 26 points, and the 6-foot-10 sophomore has gone 10-for-10 from 3-point range in the wins over San Francisco and Loyola Marymount.

Brigham Young posted a mild upset to get to the finals, topping No 20 Saint Mary’s 85-72 as a 5½-point underdog on the NCAA basketball odds. Dave Rose’s troops have also been performing their own sharpshooting act during the tourney, hitting better than 61% against the Gaels and better than 56% overall. Perhaps even more impressive for the Cougars is the fact they only turned it over 11 times in getting past Saint Mary’s and San Diego.

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#21straight pic.twitter.com/UyiHBWbnGF

— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) March 6, 2018

Series History, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

These two closed the regular season against each other in Provo, Gonzaga finishing the sweep with a 79-65 win and cover. The Bulldogs also got the dubya three weeks before that at home, a 68-60 decision with BYU getting 12. Those victories gave the Zags a 14-6 lead in the rivalry, all but two of those contests coming as WCC foes.

The Feb. 24 meeting had just enough to skip ‘over’ the total, stopping a 3-game run of ‘under’ winners in the series. The ‘under’ has been a proven winner in the series, but with both teams shooting so well it’s tough not to like the ‘over’ for my free NCAA basketball pick.

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