No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 8 Northwestern Prediction, Game Preview

Gonzaga vs. Northwestern prediction and game preview, as the No. 1 Bulldogs and No. 8 Wildcats face off in the NCAA Tournament’s second round.

Gonzaga woke up in the second half of its opening round matchup against South Dakota State after holding a close 26-22 lead at halftime, putting away the Jackrabbits in a 66-46 victory. Jordan Mathews led the way with 16 points while Johnathan Williams brought down 14 rebounds, including five on offense, as the No. 1 seed Bulldogs advanced.

Northwestern recorded its first ever NCAA Tournament win with a thrilling 68-66 victory over Vanderbilt. Bryant McIntosh was the man for the Wildcats, scoring 25 points while Dererk Pardon grabbed 11 rebounds.

Gonzaga vs. Northwestern Game Preview

Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Vivant Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

Why Gonzaga Wins …

The defense was solid in the first round, holding South Dakota State to 31% from the field. The offense, while it struggled, will ultimately wake up for a team that averages 84.6 points per game. Gonzaga is a top seed for a reason, and more than in the past, the Bulldogs are battle-tested with wins over Arizona, Florida, and Iowa State earlier this season. They are one of the more balanced teams in this tournament.

Why Northwestern Wins …

Northwestern is still riding the high of being in its first NCAA Tournament, and after earning that first win in program history, the Wildcats will try to carry that momentum into the second round against the top-seeded Bulldogs. McIntosh is a pure scorer who can catch fire, and if that happens, Northwestern could ride him to a win.

Gonzaga vs. Northwestern Prediction

The Wildcats will give a great effort, but this Gonzaga team is too deep and balanced to lose before the Sweet 16. Expect the Bulldogs to go into 7’1 Przemek Karnowski early and often as the big man will have a height advantage inside. Northwestern is a great story, but its run will end after just two games. Gonzaga rolls.

Gonzaga vs. Northwestern Score Prediction: Gonzaga 78, Northwestern 63

MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions