The top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs return to action on Saturday to take on the Pacific Tigers for a West Coast Conference matchup. Owners of the best record in college basketball, the Bulldogs have been purely spectacular this season on both ends of the floor. Gonzaga is clearly the best team in the conference and should defend the NCAA's top spot once again.
Fixture: Pacific Tigers vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Saturday, January 23rd, 2021, 10 PM ET
Venue: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Washington
Pacific Tigers Preview
The Pacific Tigers have held strong since opening their WCC schedule, currently sitting in 3rd place in the conference. The Tigers have been fairly inconsistent offensively, scoring as many as 92 points and as few as 58 in a game. Oddly enough, both of those scores were enough for a victory. Pacific seems to play enough offense to stay in the game, but their production is very streaky.
This year, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have proven themselves as not only the best team in the WCC, but the entire NCAA. This will be no small task for the Pacific Tigers, but an upset would shock the college basketball world and knock Gonzaga from the top-spot.
Key Player - Jeremiah Bailey
Tigers' forward Jeremiah Bailey will be assigned Corey Kispert in this matchup, making him the key player of the game. Standing 6-foot-6, Bailey will be at a slight height disadvantage and must step up his defense to keep his team in the game.
This season, Jeremiah Bailey is averaging 11.4 points to go along with a team-leading 7.9 rebounds per game. This is a significant improvement from his rebounding numbers last season, when he averaged only 2.9 boards per game. The Tigers will need Bailey to have a great performance on both ends if they want to keep this game close.
Pacific Tigers Predicted Lineup
F Jeremiah Bailey, F Jordan Bell, G Broc Finstuen, G Daniss Jenkins, G Pierre Crockrell II
Gonzaga Bulldogs Preview
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are looking scarier by the day, winning one game after another with the help of their experienced roster and excellent coaching staff.
As they continue their 18-game win streak dating back to last season, the Gonzaga Bulldogs seemingly improve with time. Statistically, the Bulldogs have surpassed the Iowa Hawkeyes for the top rated offense in college basketball.
Gonzaga averages a whopping 92 points per game at home and should feel very confident heading into this matchup with the Pacific Tigers. If the Gonzaga Bulldogs can keep up this remarkable offensive output, they should have no problem extending their win streak to 19 games.
Key Player - Corey Kispert
As good as Corey Kispert has been this season, he is even more dangerous on the Gonzaga Bulldogs' home court. The senior has racked up some impressive numbers at McCarthey Athletic Center, averaging 21.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per home game.
With his 6-foot-7, 220 pound frame, Corey Kispert has shown great athleticism and shooting ability. Now projecting to go as high as the first round in this year's NBA draft, Gonzaga's offensive captain is looking for another impact performance on Saturday to improve his stock.
Gonzaga Bulldogs Predicted Lineup
F Corey Kispert, F Drew Timme, F Anton Watson, G Joel Ayayi, G Jalen Suggs
Pacific vs. Gonzaga Prediction
There are few teams in all of college basketball that can evenly match up with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Unfortunately for the Pacific Tigers, they are not on that list. The Bulldogs have steamrolled their conference opponents and haven't lost a WCC home game in three years. I predict yet another dominant performance from Gonzaga with help from a huge night out of Corey Kispert.
Where to watch Pacific vs. Gonzaga
The game will be available for live stream on the WCC Network.