We get our first rematch in the 2018 NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon, as Gonzaga and Ohio State, who played at the Phil Knight Invitational back in November, meet for a spot in the Sweet 16.
The game is scheduled to start around 7:45 p.m. ET (about 25 minutes after the conclusion of Kentucky vs Buffalo, which starts at 5:15 p.m. ET) and will be broadcast nationally on CBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Amazon Prime: If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch a live stream of your local CBS channel via the CBS All-Access Amazon Channel, which comes with a 7-day free trial. Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can watch CBS live on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone, tablet or other streaming device via the the Amazon Video app.
Hulu With Live TV: If you want an extensive Netflix-like on-demand streaming library in addition to live TV, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including CBS (live in select markets). You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of CBS on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
FuboTV: CBS (live in select markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Note: You can also watch any tournament game on your computer via the March Madness Live website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the March Madness Live app. To watch these streams, you’ll have a free preview before needing to sign in to a TV provider to keep watching, but if you don’t have cable, you can do this by logging in with your Hulu credentials.
When these teams met in November, it was all Gonzaga. Johnathan Williams had 21 points on 10 field-goal attempts, Josh Perkins scored 20 despite not taking a two-point shot, Gonzaga shot 58.5 percent from the field, Ohio State shot 34.5 percent from the field, and the Bulldogs rolled to an 86-59 blowout victory.
But that was nearly four months ago. Ohio State was still finding its identity under new head coach Chris Holtmann. Keita Bates-Diop, who would go on to average 19.5 points per game and capture Big Ten Player of the Year, scored seven points on seven field-goal attempts. Musa Jallow, who has played 21 minutes combined the last five games, started and logged 27 minutes in that one. Kam Williams, who had six points in the first meeting, is averaging 15.0 per game over his last four.
In other words, things are different this time around.
“They’re a team that looked like they came together more and they certainly have their belief in (coach) Chris (Holtmann) and the staff and the system and all of that,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “(Ohio State) certainly has grown exponentially.”
In the rematch on Saturday, it will be interesting to see Ohio State’s offensive identity. The Buckeyes shot a season-high 40 three-point attempts in a narrow win against South Dakota State on Thursday, and that’s probably something they wouldn’t like to replicate to that extent, but Gonzaga is just 166th in the country in three-point percentage defense and sixth in defense inside the arc. It may be necessary for the Buckeyes to live from beyond the line again.
On the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs are coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season against UNC Greensboro. They struggled to shoot it from three and ultimately scored just 0.92 points per possession, which was their second-lowest mark of the season.
Ultimately, both teams should be expected to be better than they were on Thursday, when they were both nearly on the wrong side of upsets. The Bulldogs are four-point favorites, but this should be a tightly-fought battle. At the very least, a lot closer than their first meeting.