Final Score: Gonzaga 74 – Saint Mary’s 70
NCAAB Pick: Gonzaga -2.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s meeting in the WCC Championship? What a surprise! Okay, so it is no surprise and is, in fact, the matchup many expected when the season began, and we have a free college basketball pick for what has become a regular occurrence each year.
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels
Tuesday, March 07, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Orleans Arena
Death. Taxes. Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s meeting for the West Coast Conference Championship.
Okay, so the first two still ring more true than a matchup between the Bulldogs and Gaels to decide matters in the WCC, but it has become something of a spring ritual – late winter, technically – and has come to signal the arrival of March Madness in many ways.
At a time when many of the top conferences haven’t even begun their postseason tournaments, the West Coast Conference will crown its champion with a contest featuring a couple of teams – and coaches – who know each other very well.
Zags Favored by a Bucket
The best sportsbooks also know these teams, their players, their coaches, and their history very well, and BetOnline was one of the first to post numbers for the prime-time broadcast from Las Vegas.
In what serves as the rubber match for the season, backing the Bulldogs means giving up 2.5, that spread up a half since it was first introduced, and the bar for scoreboard bettors has been set at 140 points.
Both Sides Breeze Through Semifinals
Judging by the results in Monday night’s semifinals, Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga were both eager to get to the WCC Championship after recording wire-to-wire wins over BYU and San Francisco, respectively.
Randy Bennett’s bunch used a 10-0 run early in the first half to post a 76-69 decision over the Cougars, in what was BYU’s final WCC game before moving to the Big 12. The final score was just enough for Saint Mary’s to cover the college basketball odds and more than enough for ‘over’ bettors to cash.
For Mark Few, it was a more modest run midway through the second half – just when San Francisco was clawing back into the game – that secured an eventual 84-73 victory over the Dons. San Francisco backers cashed their +14 tickets and the final stopped just short of the mark.
Split Decisions in Regular Season
The rivals met in early February in Moraga for their first encounter of the season and treated everyone to an exciting 78-70 overtime result that went to Saint Mary’s. The game was most notable for the fact the Gaels were favored by 3, breaking a string of 14-straight meetings for Gonzaga to be favored.
They brought their WCC regular season schedules to an end in Spokane a couple of Saturdays ago, and the Bulldogs grabbed a 77-68 triumph behind a strong close to the first half and Drew Timme’s 19 points.
Teams Meet in WCC Tourney for 5th-Straight Year
Their regular season clashes are really just half of the story when taking into account the rich postseason history in the rivalry between Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.
Tuesday marks the 10th time in the last 14 years for the Bulldogs and Gaels to meet in the WCC Championship and the 13th time overall. It was a 2-point game with 8 minutes to go last year when Gonzaga eased away for an 82-69 win that pushed a 13-point spread at Washington betting sites.
- Gonzaga has won seven of the last 10 WCC Championship games against Saint Mary’s.
- The Bulldogs are 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 conference tourney games against the Gaels.
- Totals have split 3-3 O/U in the last six WCC Championships between the two sides.
And the Winner Is…
The first thing I do when schedules are firmed up each season is to check out when Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga meet in the regular season, and the second thing I do is jot down the date for the WCC Championship Game. This has been a habit of mine for nearly 20 years.
So yeah, I’ve been waiting on this for 5-6 months now. We know both Bennett and Few have been planning on another collision in the title tilt for at least as long, as well as the players who aren’t going to surprise each other with some new moves or strategies on either end of the floor.
Saint Mary’s has the most to gain with a win, at least as far as rising another rung in NCAA Tournament seeding, but I’m afraid it’s going to be another Gonzaga title. The Bulldogs take it with just enough to cover the short spread.
Final Score: Gonzaga 74 – Saint Mary’s 70
NCAAB Pick: Gonzaga -2.5 (-110) at BetOnline
NCAAB Pick: Over 140 (-110) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.