Monday, November 19 at 11:30 PM ET
Lahaina Civic Center
Coverage: ESPN 2
The Gonzaga Bulldogs clash with the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first round of the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are coming off an impressive 94-71 win against the Texas A&M Aggies last Thursday. Zach Norvell Jr. led the way with 22 points and five rebounds, Rui Hachimura had 18 points and seven rebounds and Brandon Clarke added 14 points and 11 rebounds for a Gonzaga team that blocked 10 shots and had eight steals. The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 14-4 run to build a 57-37 lead and the Aggies never got a chance after that. Gonzaga star forward Killian Tillie didn't play in this game and he is expected to miss most of the non-conference season with an ankle injury.
The Bulldogs are averaging 106.0 points per game (3rd in the nation), they grab 45.0 rebounds per game (22nd), dish out 21.0 assists per game (7th) and allow 72.3 points per game (200th). Rui Hachimura leads Gonzaga with 22.0 points per game, Zach Norvell Jr. is averaging 17.7 points per game and Brandon Clarke adds 16.0 points and a team-best 11.0 rebounds.
Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illinois Fighting Illini suffered an 88-80 home loss against the Georgetown Hoyas last Tuesday despite 25 points, including three 3-pointers from Ayo Dosunmu. Andres Feliz had a solid performance all-around with 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals and Giorgi Bezhanishvili added 12 points. Illinois was without starting point guard Trent Frazier because of a concussion and they really missed him. Frazier scored 10 points with seven assists in the season opener against Evansville after leading all Big Ten freshmen last season in scoring, assists, steals and 3-pointers during conference play.
The Fighting Illini are averaging 89.5 points per game (23rd in the nation), they grab 33.0 rebounds per game (287th), dish out 19.5 assists per game (21st) and allow 74.0 points per game (222nd). Ayo Dosunmu leads Illinois with 21.5 points per game, Andres Feliz is averaging 14.5 points per game and Kipper Nichols adds 13.0 points per game.
NCAA Basketball Trends:
The Over is:
6-1-1 in Gonzaga's last eight games against Big Ten opponents
7-3 in Gonzaga's last 10 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game
5-0 in Illinois' last five games overall
5-2-1 in Illinois' last eight games following a straight up loss
4-1 in the last five meetings
I'm leaning towards the Over, Trent Frazier is expected to play and having him back gives the Fighting Illini all their weapons on offense and these two teams play at a fast pace. Gonzaga ranks fourth in the nation averaging just 13.3 seconds per possession while Illinois ranks 28th, averaging just 14.9 seconds per possession, so this should be a track meet with enough points to go Over the total.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 167.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports