In the second round of the NCAA tournament, the Memphis Tigers and the Gonzaga Bulldogs face off in a matchup featuring two top NBA prospects in Jalen Duren and Chet Holmgren. The collision between Jalen Duren and Chet Holmgren is a matchup that many at the NBA level want to see.
March Madness is full of elite talent in college basketball, but two of the top prospects in the NBA Draft rarely get to face off in a head-to-head situation. When the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Memphis Tigers play in the second round, the top two centers in the 2022 NBA Draft matchup with one another for most of the game.
Chet Holmgren and Jalen Duren, both playing center, are the best players on their teams and are the only two players capable of defending one another. Holmgren is too tall and has too much finesse for anyone else on Memphis, and Duren is too athletic and too forceful for anyone else on Gonzaga.
For the two NBA Draft prospects, their skillsets make them the perfect litmus test for how ready they are for the NBA Draft. If one player imposes their will upon the other, then people will begin to ask questions about how good the player that got dominated is as an NBA center.
The hope is that both Jalen Duren and Chet Holmgren rise to the occasion and deliver the most must-watch matchups between the two centers in college basketball history. Factor in the rest of the rosters and coaches for Gonzaga and Memphis, and the potential is there for one of the best college basketball games ever.
Memphis v Gonzaga
The main focus of the upcoming game will be on Jalen Duren and Chet Holmgren for apparent reasons, but the game is still a part of the NCAA tournament. The Memphis Tigers and the Gonzaga Bulldogs will have a spot at the Sweet Sixteen on the line.
For the Bulldogs, this game is part of the process of returning to the Final Four and winning the national championship after losing it to Baylor in 2021. The reason coach Mark Few tried so hard to recruit Chet Holmgren was to finally win a national championship.
For the Tigers, the tumultuous season for coach Penny Hardaway, Jalen Duren, and the rest of the team will become ancient history if they can end the year with a strong showing in the NCAA tournament. A win validates every decision that every person affiliated with the team has made.
When the two teams face each other in the second round of the NCAA tournament, they all have everything to play for as a team and as individuals. Jalen Duren and Chet Holmgren will bring the hype, but the game is even bigger than the two of them.
Poll : Who will play better in the NCAA tournament game between Memphis and Gonzaga?