4 Gonzaga Bulldogs (-5.5) vs. 8 Florida State Seminoles
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have not made this tournament easy for themselves. Twice letting half time leads evaporate quickly. The Zags overcame through strong play from most everyone, especially Josh Perkins, Zach Norvell, and Rui Hachimura, are now gathering the bulk of Final Four chatter after the rest of the bracket was decimated in the first weekend.
While the Zags got through the Big Ten regular season champion Ohio State Buckeyes most assumed they were set for a matchup with Big East regular season champion and region #1 seed Xavier. As this tournament has proved, seeds don’t mean anything. Despite the Musketeers dominating a large portion of the game, they fell to a late surge from the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles’ pure size created issues for both Trevon Bluiett and Quentin Goodin on the offensive end for Xavier. Florida State’s shocking win set us up with a rather interesting matchup. Florida State’s high pace offensive strategy accompanied by their length on defense versus a high powered offensive Gonzaga team.
These two teams have very differing styles, while Florida State has multiple players that play a bulk of the minutes, Gonzaga has NBA level talent that they stick with for the larger portions of the game. Determining a victor for this game is going to be about pace. Florida State has to keep this game up tempo and not let Gonzaga utilize their advantage down low. Killian Tillie and Jonathon Williams will attack the offensive glass all game, I can’t see Florida State being able to handle the power down low.
Florida State has shocked me after literally not showing up in the ACC tournament, they have turned it around defeating two teams that were highly regarded. Problem is the Zags have more players to lean on then the Seminoles have dealt with. Multiple scorers means multiple points. I have the Zags winning but I won’t bet it.