Oddsmakers aren’t putting much stock in last year’s tournament, opening the #4 Florida State Seminoles (25-6) as sizable 7-point underdogs versus the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-2) in their Sweet 16 matchup at the Honda Center. The Noles, who bounced Gonzaga from the NCAA Tournament at this same stage last year, will try to pull another upset on Thursday (Mar. 28th) at 7:09 pm ET.
Florida State Seminoles Preview
The underdog Seminoles are scoring 76 PPG, which ranks 99th in the nation. They are hitting at just 41-percent from the field and 33-percent from beyond the arc (274th). But the offense turned it up a notch last time out, trouncing Ja Morant’s upstart Murray State squad 90-62.
Leading scorer Mfiondu Kabengele, who leads the team with just 13 PPG, had one of his best games of the year at just the right time, dropping an efficient 22 points on 10/12 shooting from the field.
As usual, the FSU defense was in lock-down mode against the Racers. They held Morant to 8/21 from the field and crushed undersized Murray State on the glass, winning the rebounding battle 45-33. Seven-foot-four center Chirst Koumadje grabbed 9 boards, including 4 at the offensive end, to lead the team.
Terrence Mann, who’s been their leader on the glass all year, hauled in another 8 rebounds.
The Noles are now 65th in America at 67 PPG and just moved into the top-ten of defensive efficiency at KenPom. They sit 58th overall in rebounding, averaging 35 per game.
FSU was without senior forward Phil Cofer (7.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG) for both of the first two rounds due to both a fractured right foot and the death of his father. It’s unclear if he’ll be back for the Sweet 16.
Florida St vs Gonzaga Statistical Comparison
|29-7 (7-3 neutral)||Record||32-3 (6-2 neutral)|
|+22.93 (14th)||Overall Efficiency Rating||+33.06 (2nd)|
|113.8 (28th)||Offensive Efficiency Rating||125.6 (1st)|
|87.3 (4th)||Defensive Efficiency Rating||84.6 (17th)|
|76-69 vs #13 Vermont||Round 1 Result||87-49 vs #16 Fairleigh Dickinson|
|90-62 vs #12 Murray St||Round 2 Result||83-71 vs #9 Baylor|
The Seminoles will be facing a Gonzaga squad that is elite offensively, currently 1st in offensive rating. The high-flying Bulldogs average 90 PPG, which is also 1st in the nation. They are shooting an impressive 49-percent from the floor, 37-percent from three (57th), and 77-percent from the stripe (12th).
The Bulldogs pair their potent offense with an impressive D, one which sits 4th in defensive rating and is surrendering just 65 PPG heading into their tilt with Florida State. Finding weak points in this team is no easy task.
Rui Hachimura leads the team offensively, scoring 21 points a night, while Brandon Clarke leads the team on the boards, pulling in 8 RPG. Clarke’s work on the glass has helped Gonzaga dominate that aspect of the game. As a team, they are 18th on the boards, averaging 36 RPG.
Clarke wasn’t just snatching rebounds last time out, though. The junior forward announced himself to America with a 36-point, 8-rebound, 5-block performance in Gonzaga’s comfortable 83-71 win over #9 Baylor.
Like FSU, the Zags obliterated Baylor on the glass, out-rebounding the Bears 39-27. They also limited Baylor to 4/21 from the three-point line.
The betting trends favor Gonzaga. The Bulldogs have been a great bet this year, boasting a 22-13-0 ATS record, while Florida State is just 17-18-1 ATS. That said, Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles ran roughshod over Mark Few’s Bulldogs in the Sweet 16 last season, winning 75-60.
See the current odds, spread, and score projection for Florida State vs Gonzaga above and good luck betting.