We have a battle of two west coast powers to look forward to this evening as the San Diego State Aztecs head up to the McCarthy Athletic Center in Spokane to meet the No. 13 Gonzaga Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. ET and the game will air on ESPN2.
San Diego State (10-2) is closing its non-conference slate before jumping into Mountain West Conference action next week and would love to add a big road victory to its resume tonight. The Aztecs were last seen toppling Stanford 74-60 last Thursday, a game where Lamont Butler and company gradually pulled away in the second half.
Gonzaga (9-3) is also trying to grab a quality win before West Coast Conference play begins next week and really needs this one tonight. The last time the Bulldogs took the floor was last Wednesday, where they blasted Jackson State in a 100-76 blowout. The Zags held the Tigers to just 33.3% shooting as Graham Ike dropped 22 points and 11 rebounds in the contest.
Both teams have been strong on both ends of the floor, but the thing to watch here will be the Gonzaga offense going up against the SDSU defense. The Bulldogs have the 25th ranked offense in efficiency per KenPom while the Aztecs have the 20th ranked defense. The Zags are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country and creating second-chance opportunities will come in handy against defense. That’s a good skill to have considering that they have been a poor three-point shooting squad and are going up against an Aztec squad that has held opponents to just 29% shooting from beyond the arc.
What this game means for San Diego State
San Diego State has been solid through its non-conference slate, but lacks a signature victory for its resume. The Aztecs are 0-2 in Quad 1 games with losses to BYU and Grand Canyon on the books. They’ll have plenty of opportunities later with the MWC looking like the strongest mid-major conference this season, but a road victory over Gonzaga would give the reigning national runner-ups a huge shot in the arm.
What this game means for Gonzaga
Gonzaga has also been mostly solid so far this season, but hasn’t been as dominant as in year’s past. Like SDSU, the Bulldogs are also winless in Quad 1 games with losses to Purdue, Washington, and UConn. With this looking like a down year for the WCC, the Zags really need this resume boost ahead of the start of conference play.
San Diego State vs. Gonzaga odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Gonzaga -7
Moneyline: Gonzaga -305, SDSU +245