College Basketball Betting – Sweet Sixteen: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Florida State Seminoles
Some people may be surprised that the Florida State Seminoles have gotten this far in the NCAA Tournament, and they have gone on some very impressive spurts that have blown away the opposition. Can they do the same to the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who went all the way to the national championship game last season? We;ll find out, as they tip it off at 9:59 PM ET on Thursday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. If you are a BetAnySports customer, you can get reduced juice before the game starts, and then you can test yourself against the college basketball betting odds while the game is in progress, using the state-of-the-art software available through Live Betting Ultra.
Leonard Hamilton is the head coach with Florida State, and he has been known for defense throughout his career. But it looks like FSU’s offense has had its act together a little bit more this season, as they rank 32nd in the country in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. And they are deep; they have ten players averaging at least 11 minutes per contest, and in over the last four games, Florida State’s bench has scored more points than its starters! We figure that’s a good thing, and it allows them to go on sustained runs if the second team can give them a boost. In the opening game of this tournament, they were down early against Missouri, but then went on a 41-13 run to gain a big lead at the half, eventually winning by 13 points over Michael Porter & Co.. Last time out, they were looking for big revenge over Xavier, who had beaten them 91-66 in last year’s tournament. And they came from behind, going on an 18-4 run to affect a 75-70 victory. That was a big win in more than one way, because Xavier was the #1 seed in the region.
In the college basketball betting odds that have been posted on this NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen game by the folks at BetAnySports, Gonzaga is the favorite:
Gonzaga Bulldogs -6
Florida State Seminoles +6
Over 153.5 points -110
Under 153.5 points -110
Gonzaga has won 21 of its last 22 games, but they had to survive a scare in the opening round, as North Carolina-Greensboro fought them all the way to the finish, before losing 68-64. The ‘Zags hit just five of its 23 shots from beyond the arc. Then, against Ohio State, Zach Norvell had 28 points as Gonzaga raced off to a 15-0 lead, but then blew that and had to come from behind with 36 points in the last 10 minutes.
The Bulldogs have an interesting frontline situation, as they are +8.8 in rebounding margin, as well as 14th in the nation in Defensive Rebounding Percentage, but also have the kind of versatility where they can send big men to the outside. For example, Killian Tillie, a 6-10 forward, shooting almost 48% from three-point range on the season. In his last nine games, he is 22-34 from beyond the arc. That’s what you call versatility.
Florida State will have a rough time here if it is forced to the outside against Gonzaga’s 14th-rated defense, because they shoot only 35.3% from three-point territory. But as we talked about, they have reinforcements, and that includes a couple of really good shot blockers can coming off the bench and give them at least a few minutes, in Christ Kounadje and Ike Obiagu, who averaged 3.8 blocks per game between them. Does Florida State, which likes to get shots up in a hurry, have enough patience to deal with a Gonzaga defense that is going to make them work for shots? That is a really good question indeed, because we know that on the other side, Mark Few’s team has five double-digit scores in the starting lineup. Gonzaga poses a lot of problems, and Florida State, with its depth, has the capability to keep this one competitive to the final gun.
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