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Maui Invitational: Arizona Wildcats vs Gonzaga Bulldogs

2018 Maui Invitational

Maui Invitational Proves Again to be King of Thanksgiving Tournaments

The fans at Lahaina Civic Center will see the Arizona Wildcats and the 3rd-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2018 Maui Invitational semifinals. These college powerhouses should put on a very good show for the fans in Hawaii tonight.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

LINE: Gonzaga -10; O/U: 155.

Replacing five starters has gone far better than expected for Arizona, so far. They improved to 4-0 with Monday’s 71-66 win over Iowa State in a first-round matchup at the Maui Invitational. The Wildcats take another step up in competition Tuesday in a semifinal game against No. 3 Gonzaga. The Zags opened tournament play with an 84-78 win over Illinois.

Guard Justin Coleman scored a team-high 18 points for Arizona. They averaged 83.7 points in wins over Houston Baptist, Cal Poly and UTEP before grinding out a comeback victory over Iowa State.

“I’m just proud of our guys. I feel like today just showed how we loved each other as brothers,” Coleman told reporters. “It just shows the connection we have as a team because we got out-rebounded, we got down 10, but it showed the effort and the togetherness we had through adversity to get back and win the game.”

The Wildcats face their toughest test of the young season against Gonzaga. The Zags barely survived a late scare from Illinois behind 23 points from preseason All-American Rui Hachimura. The 6-8 combo forward is helping Gonzaga adjust without star forward Killian Tillie. He will likely miss most of the non-conference season with an ankle injury.

Gonzaga and Arizona Get Tested Early

The 4-0 Wildcats have Duke transfer Chase Jeter. He continued to impress with 10 points and 12 rebounds against Iowa State. 6-9 forward Ryan Luther made two key free throws late in the game and finished with 12 points and eight boards.

Freshman guard Brandon Williams missed nine of his 11 field-goal attempts but scored 14 point.s He has 20 assists and only two turnovers through his first four games.

Guard Dylan Smith was a key reserve as a sophomore last season. He has struggled early on, averaging 4.5 points on 5-of-20 shooting. That includes 4-of-13 from downtown.

Arizona holds a 6-2 lead in the all-time series – including a 69-62 victory in Tucson on Dec. 3, 2016.

The 4-0 Zags struggled against Illinois’ pressure. They committed 22 turnovers but remained unbeaten after shooting 52.9 percent.

Guard Zach Norvell Jr. entered the tournament averaging 17.7 points and 5.7 rebounds. He finished with 15 points against the Illini. Forward Jeremy Jones added 14 and 11 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.

Coach Mark Few used an eight-man rotation in the first-round. 6-11 freshman Filip Petrusev continued to make a case for more playing time with five points and six boards.

Gonzaga is 43-3 in the month of November since the start of the 2011-12 season.

PREDICTION: Gonzaga 84, Arizona 78

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Maui Invitational Betting Odds & Trends

Arizona Wildcats:
Team record: 4-0 SU,3-1 ATS
Current Streak: won 4 straight games.
Arizona is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games
Arizona is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Arizona’s last 7 games

Gonzaga Bulldogs:
Team record: 4-0 SU,3-1 ATS
Current Streak: won 4 straight games.
Gonzaga is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Gonzaga is 20-1 SU in its last 21 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Gonzaga’s last 6 games

Next up:
Arizona home to Georgia Southern Thursday, November 29
Gonzaga home to North Dakota State Monday, November 26

Get a 175% Free Play Bonus at BetPhoenix Online Sportsbook!!!

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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