WCC - Gonzaga vs. BYU
March 11, 2014
By Brian Edwards
For the 17th consecutive season, Gonzaga (27-6 straight up, 16-14-1 against the spread) is in tonight's WCC Tournament finals after advancing with last night's easy win over Saint Mary's. Waiting for the Bulldogs will be BYU, which is making its debut appearance in the league's tournament finals.
As of early this afternoon, most books had Mark Few's team installed as a four-point favorite with a total of 147.5. Gamblers can back BYU (23-10 SU, 13-17 ATS) on the money line for a +165 return (risk $100 to win $165). For first-half wagers, Gonzaga is a two-point 'chalk.'
Gonzaga beat the Gaels in blowout fashion for a third time this year at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas last night. The Bulldogs won by a 70-54 count as 6.5-point favorites, while the 124 combined points stayed 'under' the 133.5-point total.
David Stockton was the catalyst with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists without a turnover. Gary Bell Jr. added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, while Sam Dower finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
Dave Rose's team had to go deep into the night to dispose of San Francisco. BYU needed overtime to sneak past the Dons in a 79-77 triumph. However, USC took the cash as 5.5-point underdogs. Bettors on the 'over' got an extremely fortunate winner when the 156 combined points slipped 'over' the 155-point tally.
Tyler Haws suffered through a 5-of-19 shooting night from the field, but he made all 14 of his free-throw attempts to take game-high scoring honors with 24 points. Haws, who averages a team-best 23.3 points per game, logged 41 minutes of playing time.
Kyle Collinsworth added 18 points and 12 rebounds in 42 minutes of action. Anson Winder chipped in with 15 points for the Cougars, who got a double-double from freshman center Eric Mika (11 points and 10 boards).
BYU has been an underdog six times, compiling a 3-3 spread record with two outright victories at Stanford and at Saint Mary's. Meanwhile, Gonzaga has been a single-digit favorite on 13 occasions, going 9-4 ATS.
The 'under' is 16-13 overall for BYU, but it has seen the 'over' cash at a 10-5 clip in its last 15 outings. The 'under' is 18-13 overall for Gonzaga.
These teams split a pair of regular-season meetings, with the home team winning and covering the number in each encounter.
In Spokane on Jan. 25, Gonzaga won an 84-69 decision as a nine-point home 'chalk.' The 153 combined points dipped 'under' the 158-point total. Kevin Pangos led the winners by scoring 24 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out seven assists without committing a turnover. Hawks had a team-high 23 points in the losing effort.
The rematch in Provo went to BYU by a 73-65 score, with the Cougars getting the money as three-point home favorites. The 138 combined points remained 'under' the 151.5-point mark. Winder scored a game-high 17 points, while Matt Carlino came off the bench to add 15 points, six assists and three steals.
Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
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