NCAA Men’s Basketball: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs Virginia Cavaliers- Possible Lineups and Predictions

Published 12/26/2020, 10:00 AM EST
Nov 25, 2020; Uncasville, Connecticut, USA; The Virginia Cavaliers bench react after a basket against the Towson Tigers in the second half at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


NCAA Men’s Basketball action will continue when the Gonzaga Bulldogs face the Virginia Cavaliers on Boxing Day. While the Cavaliers have had a hard start to the season, plagued with COVID-19, they are heading into their toughest test of the year. For the Zags, who are the #1 team in the country, this match carries weight.

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As we did not see an NCAA Champion crowned last season, the Cavaliers are still technically defending champions after their win in 2019. However, the Bulldogs look set to make a very strong push towards winning the trophy this season. A win over the last team that were crowned champions would be perfect.

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The Bulldogs are 6-0 this season, while the Cavaliers are 5-1. Gonzaga had a massive win over the Iowa Hawkeyes last week to solidify themselves as the best team in the nation. The Cavaliers fell to a shock loss to the San Francisco Dons earlier this season, but are on a four-game winning streak.

Who wins this pivotal ranked clash?

NCAA Men’s Basketball: No stopping the Zags?

Considering the Bulldogs are coming off that statement win over the Hawkeyes, it is hard to imagine any team pushing them off their throne. They also had a statement win over the Kansas Jayhawks. This team is simply very good, and it will take a herculean effort to make them taste defeat. Even COVID-19 didn’t take the rhythm of the best team in the country away.

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Dec 22, 2020; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) drives against Northwestern State Demons guard Trenton Massner (30) in the second half at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers are strong but are yet to face the caliber of competition that the Bulldogs have beaten. Their season has been plagued with struggles because of COVID-19, and there is a chance they drop out of the rankings altogether over the course of the next week or so.

The Cavaliers will start with Kihei Clark, Sam Hauser, Jay Huff, Tomas Woldetensae, and Trey Murphy III. The Bulldogs will line up with Drew Timme, Joel Ayayi, Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert, and Anton Watson.

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We lean towards Gonzaga for our prediction. This team has way too much talent and has been very solid this season. Only a major upset can be its shortcoming.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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