The college basketball season has been filled with excitement, game winners, and some heated matchups. Coming up in two days should be another thriller as the #3 Iowa Hawkeyes will play the #1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. If you’re a CBB fan, you have heard of the impact Luke Garza has made for Iowa, putting up unreal numbers in his first few games. Both of these offenses have been at the top of their game, so it will come down to which defense can come up big.
To get started, let’s talk about the man. Luke Garza. Garza is averaging about 30 points per game, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Insane. Against a ranked North Carolina team though, he underperformed with 16 points on 30% shooting. But, he’s been spectacular in games other than those. His 3 ball has been much improved, and defenses can’t find a way to game plan against him. If he gets to the perimeter and is heavily guarded, he has multiple guards who are capable of making an open shot. For Gonzaga, the question up in the air is: Who on our team really has a chance at stopping this man? The simple answer here is no. What the Zags will need to focus on is making sure that the other 4 guys on the floor are getting locked up.
Let’s now dive into how the Bulldogs can win this game to make it two straight against top 10 opponents. Against West Virginia, we saw Joel Ayayi lead the team in scoring with 21 points, helping Gonzaga in a strong second half. Personally, I think it’s going to have to be Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard’s time to step up. As a forward, Timme will need to show his creativity down below where the Hawkeyes are weak and not energetic. He put up 17 against the Mountaineers, he needs to drop at least 20 to knock off this high flying Hawkeyes team. As for Nembhard, the key is to utilize the size. When on the floor, his 6’5 height can work to be a huge advantage in many ways. He put up a season high against WVU, I think his numbers will be pretty similar to that contest.
Who’s winning: Obviously, this game is going to be a tight one, but I think the Bulldogs come out of South Dakota with a W by at least 5 points. I’m going with another strong second half from the Zags, in which they shut down the Iowa offense and take control in this game. Garza will have another monster game, but his team won’t be able to keep up with Gonzaga.
Top Photo: thescore.com