< View All Articles


March 28, 2019





Florida State has a strong defense anchored by a core of monsters. Gonzaga has the deadliest offense in the nation and is the fastest team in transition. The Seminoles’ defense is certainly intimidating, but Gonzaga’s number 1 ranked offense is a perfect unit to neutralize them. This elite offense includes number 1 rankings in overall effective FG% and two-point percentage. Their lightning fast transition allows for lots of easy breakaways, odd-man rushes and wide-open looks. Florida State thrives in half-court defence, however, their size hinders their speed, so look for Gonzaga to push the court and beat them in transition. The Bulldogs are ranked 17thin Free Throw % and won’t be afraid to attack and seek fouls in half-court situations. They have the 18th ranked offensive turnover % and can heat up from beyond-the-arc if needed with a 66th ranked 3-point %. Florida State’s offense can’t even be considered in the same category as Gonzaga. They are ranked 222nd in 3-point % and average 75.4 points/game, -13.2 points less than Gonzaga’s 88.6 points/game. All the hype is surrounding the Seminoles’ defense, but Gonzaga has a comparable lockdown unit themselves. Both teams are great defensively in the paint, with the Seminoles’ opponents shooting 45.5%. Gonzaga holds opponents to 43.1% from the same areas. Florida State holds opponents to 67 points/game. Gonzaga holds opponents to 64.8 points/game. The Bulldogs have had a slightly easier QOC (Quality of Competition) this season, but their data is incredibly impressive and enough to justify a 9-point victory.

Florida State appears to be the most popular bet tonight with up to 60-65% of the general public supporting the Seminoles with +8 points. Despite this we have seen reverse movement towards the Bulldogs with the line jumping up from an opening -7 to a current -8. Florida State defeating Gonzaga in last year’s Sweet 16 is a popular narrative heading into this game, which is certainly encouraging Seminoles support. Don’t be swayed by this overblown narrative. Different year. Different teams. A massive difference maker in last year’s matchup was the pregame scratch of 6’10” Killian Tillie. Tillie is a massive part of the Bulldogs’ depth and this led to them being outscored 30-6 from the bench. Junior Brandon Clarke (17.1 points, 8.4 rebounds) has also emerged as a new star threat for Gonzaga this season and is coming off a breakout game in the round of 32 vs. Baylor, tying a career-high 36 points. Florida State is a sub-par 4-5 ATS (Against the Spread) in their last 9 games (44.4%), while Gonzaga has been absolutely dominant going 23-1 in their last 24 straight up, with an impressive 62.5% ATS cover rate in the same span.