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How and what to watch for #1 Gonzaga vs. #6 Kansas preview

College basketball’s first marquee matchup of the 2020-21 season will take place is a pretty empty gym in Ft. Myers, Florida.

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Joel Ayayi drives against Dominick Harris during a scrimmage of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Numerica Kraziness in The Kennel at McCarthy Athletic Center on November 12, 2020 in Spokane, Washington. Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

The best college basketball game of the day should be a great one, with the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs taking on the #6 Kansas Jayhawks as part of the Fort Myers Tip-Off in the Suncoast Credit Union Arena.

Update: 12:40 p.m.: A member of the Gonzaga travel party, not a player, has tested positive for Covid-19. Two other non-players are in quarantine now after having tested negative. The game is still scheduled to be played on-time as of now.

This is also the most expensive game anywhere in America today, as it’s $231 for a corner ticket in the upper deck to watch two of the best teams in America play each other while ignoring your relatives.

The Zags lost Filip Petrusev to pro basketball in Serbia, they added the higest-rated recruit in program history in Jalen Suggs. This would have been the #1 overall seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, and returners Joel Ayayi and Drew Timme lead a group of returnees that can defend and run in the open floor as well as anyone in America.

And the NCAA’s approval this week of Florida transfer Andrew Nembard to play right away makes them even more loaded. Nembhard has been described as being the best Bulldogs guard in practice, and make an already outstanding team even more difficult for the rest of American to deal with this season.

Kansas is a team with plenty of depth in the frontcourt, but who will emerge? After a 28-3 season in the loaded Big 12, they lose Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike to the NBA, but add their own super-stud freshman guard in 6’5 Bryce Thompson. Senior Marcus Garrett returns as his likely starting backcourt mate, and the bigs Ochai Agbaji, redshirt senior Mitch Lightfoot, and David McCormack will need to have a bit more of a scoring threat in the post. Look for Jalen Wilson to also be a part of the rotation after an injury last year.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch #1 Gonzaga vs. #6 Kansas on Thursday, November 26th at 1:30 p.m. ET on Fox, or you can watch via the Fox Sports Go app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Gonzaga (-3.5) vs. Kansas
Point Total: 150.5
Money line: Gonzaga (-167) vs. Kansas (+140)

Betting Splits

Gonzaga: (73% of action, 68% of bets)
Kansas (27% of action, 32% of bets)

The Best Bet

The Zags are the just too loaded, and haven’t had as much turmoil in the offseason. Guard play tends to help in unusual situations, and although Thompson should be terrific, it’s going to be tough to start your career against the #1 team in America. Marcus Garrett is a great player, but he’s not going to make a frontcourt scorer out of anyone this early in the season.

We’ll take the Zags for now, and by more than it would be if this game was in February. KU should round into shape, but the Bulldogs are just too much for anyone on opening day.

Pick: Gonzaga -3.5