Thu, Mar 17, 2:21pm by Kevin Pitstock
Game: St. John’s Storm vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date/Time: Friday March 18th, 2011 / 1:45pm AEST
The St. John’s Storm will take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Storm come into the game as the sixth seed in the Southeast region, while Gonzaga garnered an 11 seed. The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Brigham Young/Wofford game. The Storm reside in the Big East, and finished tied in third place, while the Bulldogs of Gonzaga tied with St. Mary’s for the West Coast Conference regular season title.
St. John’s Overview:
In Steve Lavin’s first season as the head coach of the Storm, they were the talk of the Big Apple. The Storm beat numerous ranked foes at Madison Square Garden, including defending champion Duke. The Storm edged Rutgers in the Big East tournament, but then were bounced by state rival Syracuse. The Storm are seeking their 3rd trip to the Final Four in school history. St. John’s is 27-29 in 27 tournament appearances.
St. John’s was led offensively this season by Dwight Hardy. The 6’2 guard from the Bronx scored 18 points per game for a team that averaged 70.1 points per game. The Storm have won eight of their last ten games overall; with their two losses coming to Syracuse and Seton Hall.
Mark Few has his team back into the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs struggled through December and parts of January, as many felt they may not make the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs ended up winning their final eight games, including two over rival and conference foe St. Mary’s. The Bulldogs won the conference tournament title game 75-63.
Gonzaga is led offensively by Stephen Gray and his 13.8 points per game. The Bulldogs averaged 76.7, which ranked them 23rd in the country. Gonzaga is playing in their 14th NCAA appearance, but are seeking their first trip to the Final Four. The Bulldogs have a 15-13 lifetime record in the tournament.
St. John’s/Gonzaga Pick and Prediction:
This should be one of more quality basketball games of the opening weekend. The Bulldogs are playing really well, and St. John’s has shown their ability to play with anyone in the country. The Storm have the guard advantage, as their quickness is near the top in the country. Gonzaga has the ability to get the ball inside and score. We like the contrasting styles. Gonzaga seems to have the tournament tested staff, and some of the players have played in the past couple seasons. St. John’s is a small favorite, at -1.5.
Our pick: Take the Gonzaga Bulldogs + 1.5 over the St. John’s Storm. Bet the Bulldogs at Centrebet
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