Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sweet 16: West Region

Florida State vs. Gonzaga-

Through two games, it can be argued Florida State has been impressive as anyone. You could argue that going back to the ACC Tournament. Gonzaga breezed through their opener and then played somewhat indifferently against Baylor. The question you have about the Seminoles is consistency. While they look like a title contender at times, other times, it doesn’t look like they know how to play basketball.

We’ll probably hear about FSU’s athleticism and while it is evident, Gonzaga isn’t a team of stiffs. Brandon Clarke, Zach Norvell and Rai Hachimura will all play at the next level. Killian Tillie probably will as well, in this game, it’s a matter of how much he can do given health issues.

Nothing jumps out at me with the numbers where I can say, a-ha, hidden advantage for FSU. Maybe offensive rebounding? They aren’t a good shooting team, so extra chances help but the Zags defense has been damn good throughout the season. This pick by the numbers simply screams the Zags, however

The Pick: Florida State 80 Gonzaga 79

Michigan vs. Texas Tech -

Michigan has been impressive, so has Texas Tech. Both at times this year were messes offensively. These are the top two teams on KenPom defensively. Michigan is a glacier compared to Texas Tech when it comes to pace but neither team is going to run.

Texas Tech loves to turn the opponent over. Michigan does not turn the ball over. If Michigan is turnover prone in this game, Texas Tech wins. If Michigan protects the ball, can Texas Tech generate enough offense to win?

Texas Tech is actually the better shooting team and slightly better in defensive effective fg%. You won’t confuse this Michigan team with recent examples. The effective fg% differences, while not drastic lead me to lean Tech. Either way, this could be a grinder that struggles to get in the 60’s. If one team gets a big lead, game over.

The Pick: Texas Tech 57 Michigan 54

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