Gonzaga vs. Florida State: Picks, predictions for March Madness Sweet 16 matchup | NCAA Basketball

No. 1-seed Gonzaga and 4-seed Florida State will face off within the Candy 16 at 7:09 p.m. ET on Thursday, the primary of the regional semifinal video games.

Curiously, this sport is a rematch of final yr’s Candy 16 assembly between these two groups: FSU, a 9-seed, beat 4-seed Gonzaga 75-60 to advance to the Elite Eight behind scoring chief Terance Mann, who returns for the rematch. Will probably be it a repeat of final yr’s sport, or will Zags Sporting News All-Americans Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke will their staff to victory?

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This is every part it’s essential know in a pivotal Candy 16 matchup:

Gonzaga, No. 1 seed

Coach: Mark Few (20 years)
General file: 32-3
Scoring chief: Rui Hachimura (19.7 ppg)
Rebounding chief: Brandon Clarke (8.Four rpg)
Assists chief: Josh Perkins (6.Three apg)
Well-known non-athlete alum: Singer/Actor Bing Crosby

Florida State, No. Four seed

Coach: Leonard Hamilton (31 years, 17 at Florida State
General file: 29-7
Scoring chief: Mfiondu Kabengele (13.Four ppg)
Rebounding chief: Terance Mann (6.5 rpg)
Assists chief: Trent Forrest (3.7 apg)
Well-known non-athlete alum: Filmmaker Barry Jenkins

Greatest particular person matchup

Hachimura vs. Kabengele. There are a variety of notable components concerning this potential matchup. First, Kabengele comes off the bench, so Hachimura could have one other major task. Second, Hachimura is just not thought-about to be an distinctive defender, however there is no such thing as a different pure matchup to take care of the specter of FSU’s sixth man. Kabengele has six 20-point video games this season, and two of them have been within the NCAA Match. A few of which will have been mid-major competitors, but it surely additionally may very well be that he’d determining find out how to have the best affect. If Hachimura is just not the participant to defend him, it may be Clarke — which might take him away from the aim — or somebody both extra accustomed to defending the lane or a number of inches shorter. It’ll be a difficult name for the Zags.

Most eye-popping stat

Gonzaga not solely is the No. 1 offensive staff in school basketball based on KenPom.com, but in addition 2.6 factors higher per 100 possessions than every other staff, beginning with Virginia, which is second in offensive effectivity. Amongst all Division I groups in offensive effectivity, the one staff to rank greater than two factors higher than the subsequent staff behind it’s No. 349 Coppin State, which is 2.1 factors forward of No. 350 Alabama A&M.

MORE: Ranking Sweet 16 teams’ chances of winning it all

Gonzaga wins if …

The Bulldogs don’t lose endurance on offense and keep on with constantly getting the ball to harmful areas of the ground. We noticed Saint Mary’s efficiently strangle the Gonzaga offense within the West Coast Convention championship sport, by which wing Zach Norvell shot 1 of 11 from the sphere attempting to pressure motion. He is usually a game-changing offensive participant, however he has to know when he’s altering it for the higher. Clarke and Hachimura received solely 14 pictures mixed in that sport. FSU’s protection ought to be much more efficient; these two can’t be sealed off from entry to the ball.

Florida State wins if …

The Seminoles are in a position to stop the Zags from turning this right into a faster-paced sport. FSU has three victories this month towards groups nonetheless standing within the Candy 16, and didn’t hit the 75-point mark in any of them. In a half-court sport, the Seminoles may create quite a lot of discomfort for Perkins, who runs the present for Gonzaga and shot solely Three of 9 from the sphere when matched towards FSU on this spherical a yr in the past. The Seminoles care much less about who scores the factors than any staff on this match — not simply within the sense of being unselfish, however when it comes to being able to choose the matchup that works the very best for that individual sport. They’ll play 9 or 10 gamers they usually’ll get alternatives for many who take advantage of sense in the intervening time.

MORE: Why your team won’t make the Final Four

Candy 16 choose: Gonzaga

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