Gonzaga, Saint Mary's To Buck 'Under' Trend In WCC Title Game

gonzaga basketball

Willie Bee

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 4:06 PM GMT

Death, taxes and Gonzaga meeting Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference Championship Game are three things you can always count on, and we've got a free college basketball pick for tonight's clash.

If you think what the Kansas Jayhawks have done in the Big 12 the last 13 years is amazing, consider the accomplishments of the Gonzaga Bulldogs and prepare to be astonished even more. Mark Few has his Zags heading to their 20th straight conference tournament championship game Tuesday in search of their 5th straight WCC title and that should lock up a No. 1 seed for their 19th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

Waiting for the Bulldogs is a very familiar foe in the Saint Mary's Gaels, the rivals squaring off at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for a 9 p.m. ET broadcast on ESPN. Either way, it will mark the ninth consecutive year the West Coast Conference crown goes to either Gonzaga or Saint Mary's, and the numbers say it will be the Bulldogs winning their seventh in that span. BetOnline was first to send out a -7½ number for Gonzaga with 132 for the opening total.

 

Zags Slowed, But Not Stopped In Semifinals

Saint Mary's (28-3 straight up, 15-10-3 ATS) arrives for the title tilt off lopsided victories in the quarters and semis of the league tourney. The Gaels covered the NCAA basketball odds in wins over Portland on Saturday as 22½-point chalk and then easily beat an 8-point line against BYU on Monday. Randy Bennett's boys scored 81 points each time out and have now gone 5-0-1 vs. the spread since losing to the Bulldogs in mid-February.

Gonzaga (31-1 SU, 21-7-1 ATS) bounced back from its only loss in the regular-season finale vs. BYU by skating to an 82-50 triumph over Pacific in Saturday's quarterfinal matchup. The Bulldogs then ran into a determined Santa Clara bunch Monday that hung close despite not having its leading scorer. The Broncos dramatically slowed the pace of the game, but Gonzaga was still too much in the 77-68 final. The Bulldogs were lined as 21+ point favorites for the 6th straight game, going 3-3 ATS in that stretch behind an offense that is second in the country connecting on nearly 52% of its field goals.

 

Can SMC Avenge Regular Season Losses To GU?

It has been nearly three months since Saint Mary's lost a game to someone other than the Bulldogs as the schools prepare to tango for the 95th time. Gonzaga has built a 65-29 bulge in the rivalry by winning the last three meetings dating to last season's WCC Championship -- and 11 of the last 13 clashes overall. The Bulldogs covered both matchups this season, first as 5-point chalk in Moraga before a 74-64 triumph in Spokane as 4-point favorites. That leaves Gonzaga 11-1 ATS the past dozen contests, the 'under' on an equally impressive 10-2 run in the series.

The opening spread might be a little too much for the Bulldogs to beat this time around, but the total intrigues me more for my free college basketball pick, and I'm playing it 'over.'

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Over' 134Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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