When No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 16 Virginia meet at 4 p.m. ET Saturday in Fort Value, Texas, in a sport televised on CBS, they could have to fulfill within the center in additional methods than one. The Cavaliers (4-1) are usually thought to be one of many prime defensive groups within the nation, whereas the Bulldogs (6-0) have confirmed to be an offensive juggernaut.
One thing must give in what needs to be one of the vital intriguing nonconference video games of the 2020-21 school basketball season. Merely getting the sport in might be a aid for each packages as they’ve each handled COVID-19 points in the course of the starting of the season. The Cavaliers had been imagined to play Michigan State and Villanova however noticed these video games canceled. Gonzaga was imagined to play No. 2 Baylor in a significant showdown on Dec. 5 earlier than that sport was additionally canceled simply two hours earlier than tip.
However as has been confirmed a number of occasions this 12 months in each school basketball and soccer, scheduling may be competed on the fly when each side are motivated to bolster their schedules. That was clearly the case right here as two of the nation’s prime packages discovered a date — and a venue — on quick discover for what might be a crucial sport for each.
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- When: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
- The place: Dickies Enviornment in Fort Value, Texas
- TV: CBS | Dwell stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports activities App (Free)
- OTT: CBS Sports activities App (Apple TV, Roku, Hearth TV, Chromecast)
Virginia: After going 18 days between video games attributable to COVID-19 points, the Cavaliers returned to the court docket Tuesday and dealt with William & Mary 76-40. It was the fourth time in 5 video games this season that Virginia has surpassed the 70-point mark after doing so simply twice final season. However protection continues to be the hallmark of this system. Kent State’s 64 factors on Dec. 4 are probably the most the Cavaliers have surrendered this 12 months, and that sport went to additional time. San Francisco’s 61-60 upset of Virginia on Nov. 27 was attributable, largely, to the truth that the Dons hit 13-of-28 3-pointers, which is extra of an aberration than the norm for groups taking part in in opposition to Virginia. However UVA may also should be on its sport offensively to have an opportunity in opposition to Gonzaga. Fortunately for coach Tony Bennett, it is a significantly better 3-point taking pictures workforce than final 12 months’s offensively challenged group. Main scorers Sam Hauser, Jay Huff and Trey Murphy are every taking pictures higher than 43% from deep.
Gonzaga: The final time Virginia and Gonzaga performed, was again within the 2006-07 season when the Cavaliers received 108-87. Virginia has not scored that many factors in a sport since. However Gonzaga surpassed that mark twice final season alone, and this group could be even higher offensively than final 12 months’s workforce. The Bulldogs hung 102 on Kansas in a season-opening win, and their season low by means of six video games is 87 factors in opposition to a West Virginia workforce that’s anticipated to be elite defensively. Dynamic wing Corey Kispert and massive man Drew Timme are main the best way by averaging greater than 20 factors apiece. However the Bulldogs have a deep supporting solid, led by freshman guard Jalen Suggs, who has regarded like 2021 NBA lottery choose in opposition to a stable group of nonconference opponents up to now.
Sport prediction, choose
This would be the hardest protection Gonzaga has confronted but. However it would take a herculean effort from the Cavaliers to carry Gonzaga below 80 factors. That is in all probability what they should do in an effort to have a shot. However the Bulldogs have already confirmed what they’ll do in opposition to top-notch opponents, and there isn’t any motive to consider they are going to fall flat right here. Prediction: Gonzaga 85, Virginia 76
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