Gonzaga vs Georgia State Prediction: Panthers Can't Handle the Pace of the Bulldogs

Ben Rajavuori breaks down the First Round matchup between the Bulldogs and the Georgia State Panthers. Will the Panthers be able to handle the pace of the Bulldogs?
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Gonzaga vs Georgia State Prediction: Panthers Can't Handle the Pace of the Bulldogs

Georgia State gets the unfortunate honor to take on the number one overall ranked team in the nation, Gonzaga, who many people have winning the whole thing this year. I would like to say that Georgia State has a chance to win just for fun, but in reality, they don't. Only one #1 has lost in the first round to a #16 seed since the expansion in 1985, and that was UMBC beating Virginia back in 2018. Not to say another sixteen seed upset will ever happen again, but it takes the right scenario. UMBC was an excellent three-point shooting team and shot 50% from behind the arc in that one. That's something I'm not sure Georgia State can do here, but more importantly for us bettors than winning outright, who will cover this one? Gonzaga is currently favored by 23.5 points, and that's a hefty bill in the big dance.

Gonzaga vs Georgia State Odds

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Gonzaga has revenge on their minds. This team was the runner-up last year, losing in the championship to Baylor, and I'm sure that has not left their minds entering this year's tournament. This team is straight-up scary. Not only are they first overall in scoring and offensive efficiency, but they pair that with the seventh-ranked defense by efficiency. They also have two of the best players in the nation, Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren. Gonzaga also sports a 59.4% effective field goal percentage, which is second in the nation, and pairs that with the first overall tempo on offense. Basically, they score really fast.

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Georgia State is frankly...not good. They are one of the worst teams to make the tournament and had a pretty easy path in their conference tournament to win. They are a polar opposite from Gonzaga in the frontcourt. Georgia State is 344th in the nation with a 45.1% effective field goal rate. The only plus I could give Georgia State is that they crash the boards on offense. They are at least 44th ranked in offensive rebounding, but even then, Gonzaga boxes out opponents well. Georgia State does have some tournament experience, making it in 2018 and 2019, but were blown out in both years in the first round.

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I don't see any path for Georgia State to cover here. Sure, 23.5 points is a lot in March Madness, but it's a well-warranted line. Gonzaga cruised through the regular season and won by 20+ in most of their games against opponents even better than Georgia State. The season starts now for Gonzaga, in my opinion. Everyone knew they would get here, but now they are locked in to finish what they couldn't last season (side note, they also get the chance to play Duke in the Elite Eight to avenge one of only three losses this year). Georgia State will not be able to keep up with the pace and scoring from Gonzaga, and I think Gonzaga wins by at least 25 here.

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs Georgia State Panthers Pick

Pick: Gonzaga -23.5 -110 (Bet $110 to Win $100)

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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