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No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Memphis preview, picks for second round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Memphis Tigers meet at the Moda Center in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Nolan Hickman #11, Drew Timme #2 and Julian Strawther #0 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs sit on the bench during the second half in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 17, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

We are down to 32 teams as we have made it through a chaotic first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. In the first round, No. 1 Gonzaga had a lopsided victory over No. 16 Georgia State, 93-72. The No. 9 Memphis Tigers took down No. 8 Boise State, 64-53. The Bulldogs and Tigers match up in the second round with a spot in the Sweet Sixteen on the line.

Tipoff is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. ET at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. The game will air on TBS. Gonzaga is a 10.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 1 Gonzaga: 26-3 (13-1 WCC): Auto Bid

First round result: Won 93-72 against Georgia State
KenPom rating: 1 Overall, 1 Offense, 7 Defense
NET ranking: 1, (10-3 vs Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Drew Timme, 18.0 points per game
Key stat: Gonzaga has five players scoring more than 11 points per game.

Don’t let the final score fool you, Gonzaga didn’t coast to an easy victory. At halftime, they were only up two points on the Panthers. Gonzaga was struggling on defense and their offense was slow to get started. Then, the Bulldogs came out of halftime with a fire that we are accustomed to seeing from them and were back on track.

Even though they struggled early, Gonzaga had both Timme and Chet Holmgren finish with double-doubles. Timme ended up with 32 points and 13 rebounds while Holmgren dropped 19 points with 17 rebounds. Teammate Andrew Nembhard had nine points and 11 assists in the win.

Gonzaga isn’t going into any game in this tournament as the underdog. Being the No. 1 overall seed, you can just look at their KenPom ratings and see that it is going to be hard to stay close with them for 40 minutes. As we saw from the first round, the Bulldogs are even more dangerous from the halftime adjustments they can make and how explosive they can be in only a half.

No. 9 Memphis: 21-10 (13-5 American): At-Large

First round result: Won 64-53 against Boise State
KenPom rating: 28 Overall, 43 Offense, 30 Defense
NET ranking: 31 (5-3 vs Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Center Jalen Duren, 12.2 points per game
Key stat: Memphis led the American Conference with 76.2 points per game

The Tigers got the win over the Broncos in the first round from their rebounding edge and their shooting prowess. They out-rebounded Boise State 39-30, with a 27-18 advantage in defensive rebounds. Memphis also shot 47.1% from the field and 41.7% from three.

Center Jalen Duran had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Forward DeAndre Williams had 14 points and five rebounds of his own. This duo showed the strengths of the front court of the Tigers. If they want to have a chance against the big men of Gonzaga, Duran and Williams are going to have to step up even more for Memphis.

Memphis is used to being able to out-rebound their opponents, but Gonzaga has some of the best rebounders in the NCAA. The Tigers are bringing in 37.5% of their potential offensive rebounds, which is the fifth most in the country. They are going to have to keep the rebounding numbers close to come away with a win here.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Gonzaga -10.5
Point total: 154.5
Moneyline: Memphis +500, Gonzaga -720

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Gonzaga -10.5
Point total pick: Over 154.5
Pick to Win: Gonzaga

Everyone was writing off Gonzaga with their first-half performance in the first round. They didn’t measure up how they were supposed to and there was no way that Georgia State should’ve been two points down at the half. Between the two halves played though, the second half is more like what we can expect to see from Gonzaga in this game.

The Zags have three players that could have double-doubles by halftime. Even though Memphis looked great in their game, I don’t think they replicate their shooting performance and they will get out-rebounded here, leading to a Bulldogs victory.

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