Florida State Seminoles vs Gonzaga Bulldogs: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, USA.

When: Thursday, March 28th at 7:09pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): CBS; March Madness Live Stream on ncaa.com

Florida State Seminoles

Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton{Overall: 29-7, .806 W-L% | Conference: 13-5, 4th in ACC}

For the first time since 1993, the Seminoles have reached the Sweet Sixteen in consecutive seasons. They will look to return to the Elite Eight for a second straight year by beating Gonzaga again. As a 9-seed last year, Florida State beat the Zags 75-60, behind Terance Mann’s 18 points to advance to the Elite Eight.

Florida State is going into this game on a high note, having throttled Ja Morant and the Murray State Racers 90-62 last Saturday. ACC Sixth Man of the Year, Mfiondu Kabengele led the scoring effort with 22 points, while Mann stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Seminoles allowed 28 points from Morant, but the likely top-five NBA draft pick and NCAA season leader in assists struggled to get his teammates going.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Head Coach: Mark Few {Overall: 32-3, .914 W-L% | Conference: 16-0, 1st in West Coast Conference}

The top scoring squad in the nation, at 88.6 points per game, has not faced much resistance thus far, as Gonzaga has beaten their first two opponents by a combined 50 points. They will look to avenge their loss against Florida State last year, while returning most of the players from that game.

In their most recent game, the Bulldogs eliminated 9th seeded Baylor, beating the Bears 83-71 on March 23rd. Junior swingman Brandon Clarke went off for 36 points and five blocks, while sophomore forward Corey Kispert added 16 points on four of six shooting from three-point range. Leading scorer and likely NBA lottery pick, Rui Hachimura scored just six points on as many shot attempts in the victory.

Florida State Roster Notes

Graduate forward Phil Cofer will be away from the team indefinitely as he mourns the passing of his father, Michael.

Gonzaga Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for Gonzaga.

Head-to-Head: Trent Forrest vs Zach Norvell Jr.

Trent Forrest

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 210lb (193cm, 95kg) | Chipley HS | Chipley, FL | Junior

9.0 PPG | 3.7 APG | 4.4 RPG | 1.8 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 2.0 TOV | .426 FG% | .233 3P%

Zach Norvell Jr.

Shooting Guard | 6-5, 205lb (196cm, 92kg) | Simeon Career Academy | Chicago, IL | Sophomore

15.1 PPG | 3.2 APG | 4.3 RPG | 1.3 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 1.3 TOV | .443 FG% | .373 3P%

One matchup to focus on will be on the perimeter, between a defensive stalwart and a dangerous shooter. With neither player the go-to option on offense due to the talent around them, each of these two-guards have stuck to their roles, and have done so at a high level.

A former top 100 recruit in the 2016 class, Trent Forrest did not take long to establish a set role in FSU’s rotation. Although he is a terrible perimeter shooter, Forrest has excelled at getting to the rim and being a reliable defender. His experience with playing in an ACC conference loaded with talent has prepared him for March Madness, as his defensive prowess forced Ja Morant into an 8 of 21 shooting night.

Although he sometimes is overshadowed by more talented or seasoned teammates such as Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke, Zach Norvell Jr. has been a key asset for the number one offense in the country. The West Coast Conference’s leader in three pointers has proven himself against top competition, as evidenced by his 18 and 21 point performances against Duke and North Carolina, respectively. The Chicago native has taken his lumps though, with one of his worst games coming against St. Mary’s. Norvell struggled mightily in that game, scoring just two points while missing all six of his long range attempts.

Florida State vs. Gonzaga Predictions and Odds

The majority of oddsmakers have Gonzaga as 7.5 favourites over Florida State, while the over/under for the game is set at 147.