NCAA Men’s Basketball: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs Iowa Hawkeyes- Possible Lineups and Predictions

Published 12/19/2020, 7:35 AM EST
Dec 3, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) and guard Joe Wieskamp (10) and guard CJ Fredrick (5) and guard Jordan Bohannon (3) come off the court during the second half against the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


NCAA men’s basketball will see its biggest clash so far, as two of the biggest teams come face to face. The number one ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs take on the number three ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. Just two weeks after the number 1 vs number 2 matchup was canceled, this game will ensure fireworks on a Saturday afternoon.

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Both teams are currently undefeated. The Bulldogs’ record is 3-0 but they haven’t played a game since December 2. After a close win against WVU, all of their games have got canceled. When they have taken to the court, they have played like contenders.

Unlike the Bulldogs, the Hawkeyes have been regularly in action, and are regularly blowing past teams. They have been dominant in these games, with their average point differential being over 30 points in their 6-0 run.

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The expected lineups

In the three games that they have played, the Bulldogs have been scary. Led by sophomore Drew Timme and senior Cory Kispert, the Bulldogs boast of a serious offense. They also have the exciting freshman Jalen Suggs who had time to heal after the injury scare. Along with these three, they also have Joel Ayayi and Anton Watson to complete the lineup.

Nov 26, 2020; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Drew Timme (2) drives to the basket as Kansas Jayhawks forward David McCormack (33) defends during the first half at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Timme has looked like a prime candidate for the Naismith Player of the Year award. He is currently averaging 23.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He has been feasting with inside scoring, while Kispert has been blazing it from outside, shooting 45% from three.

The Hawkeyes’ lineup will feature Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp, Jordan Bohannon, Connor McCaffrey, and CJ Frederick. So far it has been a man against boys affair for Garza, who is dominating the NCAA, averaging 29.2 points and nine rebounds per game. He has been impossible to deal with for opposition defenses, and his 69% field goal percentage attests to that.

Dec 13, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) controls the ball against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Gonzaga Bulldogs be overthrown by the Iowa Hawkeyes?

This will be the biggest test for Garza yet, as he goes up against Timme, who is one of the few players who seems capable of stopping him. If they try to double Garza, he has an array of shooters ready to hit a three. The Hawkeyes are one of the best three-point shooting teams, and the Bulldogs will pay if they slack on the perimeter.

While the Bulldogs’ defense has been suspect so far, the Hawkeyes have also struggled occasionally, especially with quicker players like Suggs. The freshman could be in for a big game, and the Hawkeyes will have to keep him in check.

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Nov 27, 2020; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) drives to the basket as Auburn Tigers guard Jamal Johnson (1) defends during the first half at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to be a clash of two of the best offenses in the country, and it promises to be a nail-biter. Bulldogs may rank higher, but the Hawkeyes should be able to come away with the win. The Bulldogs’ rustiness will be a huge factor in deciding their fate, but their defense has been too leaky for their liking and the Hawkeyes could take advantage of that.

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Aaron Mathew

1629 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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