Florida State vs. Gonzaga - 3/22/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Florida State vs. Gonzaga - 3/22/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by USA TODAY Sports

Florida State Seminoles (22-11) at Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-4)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 9:59 pm (Staples Center)

The Line: Gonzaga Bulldogs -6.5 -- Over/Under: 155 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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The Florida State Seminoles and Gonzaga Bulldogs will square off at the Staples Center this Thursday night in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The 9-seed Florida State Seminoles (22-11) rode the momentum from their 1st round victory against Missouri and upended the top-seeded Xavier Musketeers, 75-70, this past Sunday to reach their first Sweet 16 since 2011. Florida State was down by 56-44 margin midway through the 2nd half, however, was outstanding defensively down the stretch which allowed them to fight back into the game and took the lead for good after a PJ Savoy three-pointer gave the Seminoles a 71-70 lead with 1:12 left in regulation. Florida State shot 43.6% from the field and 86.4% (19-22) from the FT-line in the victory. Leading the way for the Seminoles was Braian Angola who had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 2 steals. On the season, Florida State is averaging 81.1 ppg on 47.2% shooting from the field. The Seminoles are averaging 8.0 three-pointers per game on 35.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Florida State has been led by Phil Cofer (12.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Braian Angola (12.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.4 spg), Terance Mann (12.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.6 apg), and Trent Forrest (8.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.6 spg). Defensively, Florida State is allowing their opponents to average 73.7 ppg on 42.0% shooting from the field.   The Seminoles have a rebound margin of 2.8 and a turnover margin of 1.3.

The 4-seed Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-4) allowed the 5-seed Ohio State Buckeyes make it a game in the 2nd half after storming out to a big lead early, however, Gonzaga was strong towards the finished and advanced to their 4th straight Sweet 16 appearance. Gonzaga started the game on a 15-0 run and had a double-digit lead at halftime, however, needed an 11-0 run late in the game to retake the lead and secure the victory.  Gonzaga shot 53.4% from the field and 40.9% (9-22) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Zach Norvell Jr. who had a double-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, Gonzaga is averaging 84.2 ppg on 50.2% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs are averaging 9.0 three-pointers per game on 37.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Gonzaga has been led by Johnathan Williams (13.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 bpg), Killian Tillie (12.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.7 apg), Zach Norvell Jr. (12.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 spg), and Josh Perkins (12.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.2 spg). Defensively, Gonzaga is holding their opponents to an average of 67.5 ppg on 40.7% shooting from the field. The Bulldogs have a rebound margin of 8.8 and a turnover margin of 1.0.

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The Seminoles are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 non-conference games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games. The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record however, are just 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. ACC opponents.

Florida State looked outstanding in their first two matchups over the weekend, especially on the defensive end, and come into this game ranked 34th in scoring offense, 51st in FG%, and 62nd in defensive FG%. Gonzaga has had tougher matchups than originally expected against UNC-Greensboro and Ohio State, however, the Bulldogs are still one of the best two-way teams left in the tournament and currently rank 10th in scoring offense and 51st in scoring defense. Gonzaga is an outstanding team however, Florida State is just playing better basketball at the moment and as I think the Seminoles can bring the same defensive effort as they did against Xavier, I think the play here is to take Florida State and the points.

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Brett’s Pick Florida State Seminoles +6.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

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