No. 7 Tennessee Takes Aim at No. 1 Zags

Saturday, December 8, 2018 7:34 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 7:34 PM UTC

A top 10 battle is brewing on Sunday when Gonzaga and Tennessee meet in Phoenix, and we have a free NCAA pick with the Bulldogs slight favorites against the Volunteers.

<p style="text-align:right;"><em><strong>Season Record:</strong> 18-11-1 (+6.40 units)</em></p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href="">Tennessee (6-1 SU, 2-3-1 ATS) vs. Gonzaga (9-0 SU, 7-2 ATS)</a><br />Sunday, 3:00 p.m. ET, Phoenix (ESPN)<br /><strong>Free NCAAB Pick:</strong> Gonzaga ATS<br /><strong>Best Line Offered:</strong> <a href=";book=BetOnline">BetOnline</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3638476, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,169,19,93,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>We’re coming up on that part of the season when Gonzaga’s detractors will point to a weak West Coast Conference schedule as a reason the Bulldogs shouldn’t be a top seed for March Madness. Those same people might have a tougher time selling their opinion this year, however, due to the tough nonconference slate Mark Few’s squad is going through.</p><p>A challenging fixture continues for the top-ranked Bulldogs on Sunday when they go up against the Tennessee Volunteers in a top 10 battle at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix. Having just <a href="" title="Zags Avoid Upset to Huskies">survived Washington’s upset bid on Wednesday</a> as decided chalk, the short spread in this matchup with the Volunteers suggest a contest that comes down to the final possession, the total sitting around 160.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Zags Looking For Just 2nd 10-0 Start In School History</strong></h2><p>It has been a week since Rick Barnes’ club was on the floor, the No. 7 Volunteers cruising to a 79-51 decision over Texas A&amp;M-Corpus Christi that puched a closing -28 number at <a href="" title="SBR's Best Books">Bookmaker</a>. Admiral Schofield led the way with 16 points, also collecting four of the 10 steals Tennessee recorded in the triumph. Grant Williams added 14 and just missed his third double-double of the campaign. The Vols rank 26th in the country averaging 83.3 PPG, and 23rd hauling down more than 41 rebounds a contest.</p><p>Gonzaga needed a last-second jumper from Rui Hachimura to down the Huskies this week, 81-79. Favored by 15½ on the <a href="" title="Live College Basketball Odds">NCAA basketball odds board</a>, it was easily the worst-shooting effort by the Bulldogs who connected on just under 43% of their field goals, but still lead the nation at 53% through nine contests. They will get almost a week off before traveling to Chapel Hill next Saturday to face No. 14 North Carolina, and a win over Tennessee would give the Bulldogs just their second 10-0 start in 60 years of NCAA action, the other coming two seasons ago when Gonzaga won its first 29 games.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Vols 5-5 ATS Last 10 Neutral Court Clashes</strong></h2><p>The schools are meeting for the sixth time, and Sunday’s skirmish marks the fifth matchup to come in a neutral setting. Gonzaga has won four of the previous five encounters, and we’re coming up on the 2-year anniversary of the last collision in Nashville, an 86-76 Bulldogs victory as 8-point favorites. The last three meetings hopped totals in the 145-155 range.</p><p>My gut tells me Gonzaga looked past Washington this week and ahead to this matchup plus next week’s trip to UNC. The near upset to the Huskies should serve as a wake-up call, and I’ll play the Bulldogs as short chalk with my <a href="" title="Free College Basketball Pick">free NCAA basketball pick</a>.</p><p></p>
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