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NCAA West Region Sweet 16 Bracket Analysis

NCAA West Region Sweet 16 Bracket Analysis

There are only 16 teams left and the action is sizzling hot! Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the West Sweet 16 bracket with the Seminoles vs Bulldogs and the Wolverines vs Aggies in the next stage before the Elite Eight.

NCAA Tournament 2018 West Region Analysis

#9 Florida State Seminoles vs #4 Gonzaga Bulldogs

  • When: March 22, 2018, 9:59 PM ET
  • Where: Staples Center
  • Spread: Gonzaga -5.5
  • Over/Under: 152.5

Florida State Analysis

The Seminoles knocked off top-seeded Xavier to advance to the Sweet Sixteen

Though the Seminoles were down by 12 points to Xavier midway through the second half with all hope but lost, they scrambled back with few minutes left on the clock to stun the Musketeers with a 75-70 loss.  

Florida State struggled defensively during the regular season, but they have been playing some very good defense since the tournament started. Against Xavier, they came up with 10 steals that led to fast-break scoring opportunities.

Their offense hasn’t scored as much as they did during the regular season, but its improved defense has stifled opponents to lessen any impact this might have.

Against the Bulldogs, the Seminoles have to play well on both sides of the ball, however, because Gonzaga has a very good offense that can put up a ton of points and play better defense.

The Seminoles have to come ready to play their A-game; anything else will likely result in a loss.

Gonzaga Analysis

Though the Bulldogs made it to the championship game last season, they haven’t received the respect they deserve by other tournament contenders.

They struggled in their first-round matchup but managed to gut out a win.  

The Zags were hot against Ohio State, hitting over 53 percent of its field goal attempts. Rui Hachimura made 9 of 11 field goals while Zach Norvell, Jr. hit 6 of 11 three-point shots. The Zags also posted 90 points despite hitting only 19 of 31 free throws.

Now, they have to take on the team that knocked off the top-seeded Xavier Musketeers to advance to the Elite Eight.

Gonzaga’s success can be attributed to the fact that they are a complete team. They average 84.2 points per game, which is 10th in the country, and hold opponents to 67.5 points per game, which is 50th.

If the Bulldogs are able to play well on both ends, they won’t have any problem defeating the Seminoles.

Pick: Gonzaga

#3 Michigan Wolverines vs #7 Texas A&M Aggies

  • When: March 22, 2018, 7:37 PM ET
  • Where: Staples Center
  • Spread: Michigan -2.5
  • Over/Under: 136

Michigan Analysis

The Wolverines were able to knock off 14th seeded Montana with ease in the first round but needed a last-second shot to defeat the 6th seeded Houston Cougars in the second round. Now they will try to avoid another potential upset when they face the Aggies.

The Wolverines haven’t been great on offense, but their defense has been a difference maker so far.

Michigan finished the regular season with the eighth best defense in the country, holding opponents to 63 points per game.

In the tournament, opponents are averaging 55 points against them, but they will need to play better on offense if they want to win this game.

Michigan would do well to get their three-point shooting game on; against Houston, the Wolverines just hit 8 of 30 from downtown, which was a big factor in their struggle to win. If not for Jordan Poole’s three-point buzzer-beater they would have been home by now.

Should the Wolverines not find an offensive rhythm, they’ll be hard-pressed to make it to the Final Four. Muahmmad Ali-Abdur Rahkman and Zavier Simpson better start making their shots.

Texas A&M Analysis

The Aggies have been quite a surprise, managing to hold off upset-minded Providence in the first round and then pulling off the unthinkable of beating the second-seeded Tar Heels in the State of Carolina.

Their fans will be hoping they will be able to pull off another upset when they face Michigan on Thursday.

Unlike a lot of teams in the tournament, the Aggies don’t have any major strengths, they are statistically average on both offense and defense, but they seem to be able to step up when they have to, which has gotten them to where they are.

It’s critical for the Aggies, however, that they shut down Michigan’s three-point shooting. If it worked against North Carolina, it may against the Wolverines.

The Aggies have the advantage down low and under the rim and pushing Michigan to this fight will give them an advantage. Tyler Davis, for example, scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds while blocking three shots and hitting 7 of 9 field goals against the Tar Heels.

Pick: Michigan.

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