A massive top 25 mid-week contest is in store in the Lone Star state when the #11 Texas Longhorns (2-0) host the #2 Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-0). The matchup will be the fifth time these two teams have met, but the first in the state of Texas. Gonzaga is 4-0 against Texas all-time.
The tipoff of Wednesday’s marquee contest is at 9:30 p.m. EST inside the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. Texas is a 1.5-point favorite, and the over/under total is 144.0 points.
What to Know – #2 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga has opened up the season with a pair of victories over North Florida and Michigan State. The Bulldogs face a gauntlet non-conference schedule with the Spartans, Longhorns, and Kentucky Wildcats all in a row. Gonzaga is looking to continue its dominating regular season after finishing 26-3 last year.
Drew Timme returned to the Gonzaga program after flirting with the professional ranks. Timme was named the Preseason Player of the Year by numerous publications after averaging 18.4 points per game last season.
The Zags also welcomed back junior Julian Strawther and Malachi Smith. Both were involved last season but have become secondary scorers to Timme. Strawther is averaging 14.5 ppg, while Smith is adding 10.0 ppg.
The Bulldogs are scoring 84.0 points per game and shooting 54.1% from the field. Gonzaga is allowing opponents to average 63.0 ppg and 37.8% shooting from the floor.
What to Know – #11 Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns are in the second season under head coach Chris Beard and looking to build off a 24-12 record last year. A win for Texas would be a record for defeating the highest-ranked AP opponent in the program’s history. Texas has a pair of blowout victories over UTEP and Houston Christian to begin the season.
Coach Beard hit the transfer portal hard in the offseason to overhaul his roster. Seven players return, with the addition of two key transfers and three freshmen.
Iowa State transfer Tyrese Hunter is the team’s leading scorer after two games. The sophomore is averaging 14.0 points per game, thanks to 55.6% shooting from the floor.
Graduate transfer Sir’Jabari Rice is scoring 12.5 ppg after transferring in for his final season from New Mexico State. Rice is 7-of-11 to begin the year, hitting 63.6% of his shots.
Texas averages 77.0 points per contest, thanks to 52.7% shooting from the field. On defense, the Longhorns surrender 44.0 ppg and hold teams to 30.4% shooting from the floor.
The Pick is In
If Tuesday night’s top matchups weren’t enough for you, we get another huge matchup late Wednesday. Gonzaga and Texas have high expectations this season, and the two will try and build their resume with an early Quad 1 victory.
Texas will have the home-court advantage in the newly built Moody Center, but Gonzaga is a veteran squad led by one of the top players in college basketball. Timme and the Bulldogs leave Austin with the road win over a top-25 foe.
The Pick: #2 Gonzaga Bulldogs +1.5