NCAA Tournament 2021 – #11 UCLA Bruins (22-9) vs #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-0)

Gonzaga's Shooting Over 54%

In our UCLA vs Gonzaga pick the Bulldogs as the heavily favored club. The best point spread for the Bulldogs is -14.0 (-115). On the other hand, you’ll find underdog UCLA at +14.5 (-110). UCLA has surprised a lot of people in this tournament. Perhaps those who were most surprised was their last opponent, the #1 Michigan Wolverines. Against the odds, the Bruins upset Michigan 51-49 to get into this 2021 NCAAM Tournament Final Four. In March Madness, the Bruins also took down the #6 BYU Cougars 73-62, the #14 Abilene Christian Wildcats 67-47, and the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide 88-78. In their Elite Eight contest the Gonzaga Bulldogs easily defeated the #6 USC Trojans 79-55. Additionally, the Zags took apart the #16 Norfolk State Spartans 98-55, the #8 Oklahoma Sooners 87-71, and the #5 Creighton Bluejays 83-65.

The Bruins and Bulldogs will meet on Saturday, April 3 at 8:34 pm ET. The game will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Also, see our other Final Four pick for Saturday as the #2 Houston Cougars play the #1 Baylor Bears at 5:14 pm ET. That game will also be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN

UCLA vs Gonzaga Pick – Stats

There are a few statistical categories where the Bruins match the Zags. But there are many more where Gonzaga completely outpaces UCLA. Areas where the Bruins are competitive in foul-shot percentage (72%), three-point completions (36.5%), and shots blocked (2.8). They are very close when it comes to opponent points allowed, with the Bulldogs holding a one-point advantage (64.3 PA to 63.2 PA).

After that, the Zags are dominant. They are outscoring the Bruins (91.6 PPG to 72.9 PPG), outpacing them in field-goal success (54.9% to 45.8%), and grabbing more rebounds (38.0 RPG to 35.0 RPG). Gonzaga utilizes ball movement expertly, and their 18.6 APG attest to that. The Bruins are averaging 13.4 APG. Steals also fall in favor of the Zags, as they are making 8.1 per game while the Bruins are recording 5.0.

Key Players

Johnny Juzang is the main guy for UCLA. Juzang tops the team in scoring, averaging 15.0 PPG. He’s also taking down 4.1 RPG. At the point, Tyger Campbell is the recording 5.4 APG. Jaime Jaquez Jr. is averaging 12.4 PPG and Jules Bernard 10.7 PPG. Jaquez is a rebound hound, grabbing 6.1 RPG, while Bernard is taking down 5.0 RPG. Cody Riley commands the paint. He’s averaging 10.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG. In addition, forward Jalen Hill is good for 6.1 PPG and 5.5 RPG. They are both completing 55% shooters of their attempts from the field.

Gonzaga brings monstrous scoring chops to the floor. Four players are double-digits scorers. In the paint, forwards Corey Kispert and Drew Timme and in the back, guards Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi are getting the job done. Kispert is completing 54.7% of his field goals and 46.2% of his three-point attempts. He leads the team in scoring with 19.0 PPG. Also, under the rim, Timme is recording 18.9 PPG and 7.2 RPG. He’s a 65.7% shooter on field-goal attempts and 31.6% three-point man. Guard Suggs is a major force, dishing off 4.4 APG, averaging 13.9 PPG and recording 5.3 RPG. Ayayi is another marksman, completing 56.1% of his field-goal attempts. He’s averaging 11.9 PPG and 7.1 RPG.

UCLA vs Gonzaga Pick – Final Thoughts

Our UCLA vs Gonzaga pick acknowledges that UCLA’s defense kept them in the Michigan game. In fact, it has kept this team in every contest of this tournament. But the Zags are a different animal. They shoot the lights out of the scoreboard, hitting their field goals at a rate of 54%-plus. Plus, the Zags are tough under the rim and utilized precision passing. We think that the Bulldogs will come out and play their game and beat the Bruins soundly. We’re taking the Gonzaga Bulldogs at -14.0 (-115).

#11 UCLA Bruins vs #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gonzaga Bulldogs at -14.0 (-115)

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