Texas and Gonzaga can be excused if both teams look a little fatigued Sunday when they meet in the third-place game of the PK80 Invitational’s Motion Bracket in Portland. Texas blew a 16-point lead and lost 85-78 in overtime to top-ranked Duke on Friday while No. 17 Gonzaga took seventh-ranked Florida to double overtime before losing a 111-105 thriller.
Texas led Duke for a total of 37 minutes but was unable to contain Blue Devils star freshman forward Marvin Bagley III, who took over late in the game and finished with a career-high 34 points and 15 rebounds. The Longhorns face another tough challenge Sunday against Gonzaga senior forward Johnathan Williams, who was 16-of-22 from the field and scored 31 of his 35 points after halftime in the loss to Florida. Williams scored a game-high 21 points in Thursday’s 86-59 win over Ohio State and might be understandably tired heading into his third game in four days. The Longhorns could also use some rest but will be eager to bounce back after shooting 4-of-23 from 3-point range in the loss to Duke.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT TEXAS (4-1): Junior guard Kerwin Roach II has averaged 13 points in the first two games of the tournament, including 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting against Duke. The Longhorns’ backcourt also features sophomore guard Andrew Jones, who averages a team-high 14.2 points and had 16 in Thursday’s 61-48 win over Butler. The frontcourt is led by shot-blocking center Mohamed Bamba and forward Dylan Osetkowski, who had a season-high 19 points and seven boards against Duke and faces a key matchup Sunday against Williams.
ABOUT GONZAGA (4-1): Williams averages a team-high 18.6 points and 7.8 rebounds to lead a formidable frontcourt with forwards Killian Tillie and Corey Kispert. Junior point guard Josh Perkins had 20 points in Thursday’s win over Ohio State and followed up with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the loss to Florida on Friday, when he was one of four Gonzaga players to log at least 40 minutes. “We just have to rest up,” coach Mark Few told reporters. “We played heavy minutes in a really physical game.”
1. Gonzaga has won the only two previous meetings in the series, with the last matchup coming in 2006.
2. Bamba leads Texas in rebounding (10.0 per game) and blocks with a total of 15 through four games.
3. Gonzaga is 32-9 under coach Mark Few in tournaments during the week of Thanksgiving.
PREDICTION: Gonzaga 77, Texas 68