One of the most interesting college basketball games of the season is happening tomorrow at 12/11 CST. The game is between two top-five teams in the country, #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs #3 Iowa Hawkeyes. Gonzaga has been on pause for Covid-19 but has a 3-0 record on the year. Iowa on the other hand has a record of 6-0. Both teams have dominant, high scoring offenses led by their frontcourt. Let’s get into how this game will go down.
Gonzaga’s Offensive Power
Watching the Bulldogs’ first three games, you found out one thing: they can score in bunches. Their frontcourt is led by Sophomore forward Drew Timme. They also have an outstanding backcourt led by freshman Jalen Suggs, along with Joel Ayayi and Florida transfer, Andrew Nembhard. If you want to beat Gonzaga, you will have to outscore them because locking them up defensively can be difficult. Any one of Mark Few’s players can light it up for 20 points on any given night. The Bulldogs already have two top 15 wins on the year and they are looking to make that three come tomorrow.
Gonzaga is ranked number two in Adjusted Offense according to Kenpom, but guess who is number one? The Iowa Hawkeyes.
Iowa Can Outscore Gonzaga
It’s no secret that this will be a full offensive battle. Luka Garza has been a shining star when it comes to putting the ball in of the hoop. It will be really interesting to see what kind of schemes Mark Few will throw at Garza either down on the block or out on the perimeter. Garza averages 29 PPG, 9 RPG, and shoots roughly 69% from the field. That will be tough to stop defensively, but Drew Timme, who will probably be matched up on Garza, is no stranger to scoring the ball at an efficient clip. Timme averages 23 PPG, 6 RPG, and shoots roughly 60% from inside the arc.
The one question mark that is hanging above Iowa’s head right now is their guard play. There is no question, Iowa has the talent and experience they need. At this point, it’s all about production. Who will show up on a nightly basis in the backcourt? If guys like C.J Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp can show up as they did against North Carolina, the Hawkeyes have a really good shot at taking down the top team in the country.
Don’t Look For Big 12 Defense
In the games these two teams have already played this season, they have shown flashes of solid defense, but don’t expect it for a full 40-minute game. There will be plenty of elite offensive play. Gonzaga ranks 14th in Adjusted Defense on Kempom, and Iowa ranks even lower at 75. The hype around this game is real, but it is all for the offensive play.
My Prediction for #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs #3 Iowa Hawkeyes
In all honesty, this game will likely go back and forth, up and down, and everything in between, all the way down to the wire. Even though I just said there won’t be much of it, the difference in this game will be the defense. The team that can make a couple of key stops in key moments will win this game. I do believe Gonzaga will come out of this game as the undefeated team.
Final Prediction: Gonzaga- 90, Iowa- 86
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