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#535/536 ‘UNDER 142.5’ Ohio State vs. Gonzaga 6:45 PM CT

Ohio State wound up with 81 points against South Dakota State in a game that was very competitive with a tie-game at 70-70 late before a few big plays from the Buckeyes. Ohio State took 40 3-point shots in the contest despite being a below average 3-point shooting team and a team that did not take a great proportion of 3-point shots most of the season. Ohio State normally plays rather slow and after watching UNC Greensboro slow the pace to a crawl making Gonzaga nearly an upset-victim on Thursday Chris Holtmann will likely also want to keep the pace slow especially with a backdrop in Boise that will feature a lot of Gonzaga support.

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Gonzaga’s offense really struggled with a long layoff and the jump from WCC competition and facing the Southern champion will be severe now facing one of the top Big Ten teams. Gonzaga shot 22 percent from 3-point range and surprisingly lost the rebounding battle on Thursday. Turnovers should be low on both sides of this matchup as transition baskets will be rare and both teams have had some inconsistency at the free throw line.

These teams met in November in Portland and Gonzaga won 86-59 for 145 points, just above tonight’s current total but that was a Buckeyes team still finding itself in just the fifth game and first major test under the new coaching staff while Gonzaga shot over 58 percent in that game. A high free throw count pushed that scoring upwards as well and while there is risk of a tight finish meaning late free throws and a slow clock in the final minutes, this game does figure to play like a defensive grind with a Sweet 16 bid on the line for teams that narrowly avoided first round upsets.

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Bobby Dalton went 4-1-1 Thursday & Friday with two 10* wins – don’t miss his early Trips-2-Win offer Saturday. Nelly’s is 4-2 in NCAA Tournament picks and we have a pair for Saturday for only $15. Big E has his next NCAA 4-Pack while Maximum has a later 2/3 offer. Point Train also has a 6-unit release for Saturday tournament action.