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Gonzaga vs TCU Prediction, Picks & Odds | NCAA Tournament

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 18, 2023
12 min read

The Bulldogs of Gonzaga tangle with the Horned Frogs of TCU for a spot in the Sweet 16 during Sunday’s March Madness matchup. The former is only two years removed from an appearance in the national championship game, while the latter has not made it to the second weekend of basketball since 1968.

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Gonzaga vs TCU Prediction, Picks & Odds | NCAA Tournament

No. 3 Higher Seed and Team Preview

No, this Gonzaga team doesn’t have the same hype its teams years past did—but that might be working in its favor. The Bulldogs quietly averaged 87.5 points per game, good for the top mark in all of college basketball. That came from four players averaging double-digit scoring and a combined average of 38.7% from beyond the arc, even though they rank outside the top 250 in long-range attempts per game.

Gonzaga also ranked sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio, which is an underrated stat when it comes to predicting March Madness matchups or, in this case, making a Gonzaga vs TCU prediction and pick. The Bulldogs’ defense leaves a lot to be desired, but they force teams to pick up their pace and play where they are comfortable, which somewhat mitigates the volume of points it gives up. 

No. 3 Gonzaga Key Players & Key Stats

Gonzaga is led by the ever-present senior forward Drew Timme and his 20.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per night. Julian Strawther, Anton Watson, and Rasir Bolton all score at least 10 points per night, and two of them Strawther and Bolton) shoot close to or above 40% from three.

The Bulldogs don’t have a true table-setter on offense. Timme leads them with 3.2 assists and could come into trouble if the Horned Frogs are able to pressure him in the post, whether that be by double-teaming him or denying the entry pass.

NCAA Tournament Betting Tips: How to Bet on March Madness: Ultimate Betting Strategy

No. 6 TCU Lower Seed and Team Preview

TCU is having quite the year as an athletics department. Just a few months after its football team made it to the national title game against Georgia—where they suffered an unfortunate blowout loss—they are taking on one of the best teams in college basketball over the last half-decade.

The Horned Frogs went 22-12 and only finished fifth in the Big 12 during the regular season. They were also just 5-7 against ranked opponents, all but one of which hailed from the Big 12. Even worse, they lost seven of 11 games heading into the tournament, capped off by a 66-60 loss to No. 7 Texas in the Big 12 championship semifinal.

Despite all of that, TCU ranks top 25 in turnovers forced and turnover margin, which translates well into the NCAA Tournament. It also has three players averaging more than 12 points per game and is versatile on both ends, which allows them to match up with most schools.

No. 6 TCU Key Players & Key Stats

TCU is led by junior guard Mike Miles Jr. The 6-foot-2 Highlands, Texas product scores 17.6 points per game on 49.2% shooting from the field and 35.6% from three, which are strong numbers for such a ball-dominant player. Damian Baugh and Emmanuel Miller average 12.5 and 12.3 points respectively, and Miller leads the team in rebounds while Baugh leads the team in assists. 

Four players on TCU average at least one steal per game, led by Baugh’s 1.8. Gonzaga has an elite offense and so the Horned Frogs will need to be as disruptive as ever, especially when fronting and denying the Zaga big men in the post.

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Odds, Previews, Picks, Best Bets for No. 3 Gonzaga vs No. 6 TCU 

There is a real chance for this game to be much closer than the reputation of the programs would lead neutral fans to believe. Both teams can score a ton of points in a hurry and both have proven playmakers leading their lines. TCU has more experience in terms of playing high-ranking competition this season, but Gonzaga has more battles under its belt, especially with Timme in the middle and Mark Few on the sidelines. 

We failed to mention earlier that Gonzaga, not that dissimilar to TCU, only went 4-4 against top 25 teams. Neither has demonstrated a level of consistency in the top moments to make this game an open-and-shut case. Gonzaga did enter the tournament on a nine-game win streak, and that matters quite a lot. March Madness is not always about picking the “best” team but the one that is playing the best basketball at the right time, and that’s just what Gonzaga is doing. 

The deciding factor in the Gonzaga vs TCU matchup will likely be the three-point line. Since TCU only makes 30.6% of its attempts, it will be hard for it to come up with much-needed shots in the dying moments, and Gonzaga is set up for a narrow victory. All bets are off if TCU can rattle Timme early, however. His scoring average was down over three points in his team’s five losses—TCU’s path to victory is obvious. 

No. 3 Gonzaga vs No. 6 TCU pick: Gonzaga

No. 3 Gonzaga vs No. 6 TCU: How to Watch

Location: Ball Arena in Denver, CO

Game Time & Date: Sunday, March 19 at 9:40 p.m. ET

TV Network: TBS

Streaming: YouTube TV, Hulu, FuboTV, etc.

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Grant Mitchell

522 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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