No. 6 TCU rallied late to hold off No. 11 Arizona State in thrilling fashion, but now have to turn their attention quickly to the No. 3 seed in the West Region Gonzaga.
The Horned Frogs needed a last second shot from JaKobe Coles to defeat Arizona State, and now will look to advance to the Sweet 16 against the No. 1 offense in the country in the Bulldogs. However, the Horned Frogs have thrived this season against elite competition and will match Gonzaga’s up-tempo attack.
Can TCU pull the upset?
Here are the odds for the nightcap of the Round of 32:
TCU vs. Gonzaga odds, spread and total
TCU vs. Gonzaga prediction and pick
Gonzaga’s inability to slow down the TCU transition attack will be their downfall in this one. The Bulldogs are 189th in effective field goal percentage allowed in transition, which is the Horned Frogs preferred method of attack, a team that is top 30 in the country in transition rate.
As well, TCU is incredibly reliant at getting downhill and finishing at the rim. The team is top five in the country in average shot proximity, per Haslametrics, and Gonzaga is right around the national average in that regard. If the Horned Frogs are getting to the cup, they are going to be able to stay within a few possessions and have a chance at an outright upset.
On defense, TCU’s heavy ball pressure can give issues to Gonzaga’s ball handlers that have struggled against the likes of Texas and Baylor, each Big 12 defenses that are top third nationally in generating turnovers. While the team has elite numbers at protecting the ball, they have pumped their stats up to 11th in the country in turnover percentage against limited ball pressure defenses.
Gonzaga lost both those games and had a combined 38 turnovers, an ominous sign for this one. While Jaime Dixon’s bunch doesn’t have the offensive prowess from the perimeter like the Texas and Baylor, they are 336th in three-point percentage, they are going to be able to get to the rim with ease against a defense with limited options to slow down the likes of Mike Miles or Emmanuel Miller.
I don’t trust Gonzaga’s defense that is 173rd in raw defensive efficiency and can’t limit TCU where they are strongest. I think TCU is live for the upset on Sunday night.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.