Top seed perspective: Gonzaga is the best club in the West by a substantial margin, but the Zags, despite reaching have performed well beneath the tournament’s glowing lights. However, Gonzaga has a 70 percent probability of reaching the Elite Eight, according to our model, and the third-best chances of any group to reach the national championship game (26 percent).
Should Gonzaga face Syracuse in the next round, the Orange’s zone defense could give the Bulldogs trouble. Here is the very best offense Mark Few has experienced Spokane, but it may be tested by any of the terrific defenses from the West: Four of the best 15 can be seen within this area, including the best two at Texas Tech and Michigan.
Sneaky Final Four select: No. 4 Florida State. A fixture in the KenPom Top 20 for the majority of the season, the Seminoles are hoping to build on last year’s tournament run, which saw them come inside a 4-point margin of creating the Final Four. FSU has a dominant defense (No. 9 at Pomeroy’s ratings) and a balanced roster that saw four players collect at least 2.5 win stocks. This draw is not terrible, either: Vermont is not particularly difficult as a first-round foe, and Marquette is very beatable (more on this below). No. 1 seeded Gonzaga probably looms then, and we give FSU a 24 percent chance from the Zags — but the Seminoles could have a 48 percent probability of creating the Final Four if they had been to pull off the upset.
Do not wager on: No. 5 Marquette. Teams seeded fifth are not usually good bets to make it past the Sweet 16 anyway, but Marquette could be an especially terrible choice. According to the FiveThirtyEight energy ratings, the Golden Eagles are by far the worst No. 5 seed in the area, and a first-round date with breakout mid-major celebrity Ja Morant did not do any favors. Marquette has some star power of its own in junior guard Markus Howard, who ranks sixth in the nation with an average of 25 points per game, but this team lost five of its final six games and has a challenging tournament road ahead of it.
Cinderella see: No. 10 Florida. The Gators may have been among the bubble teams to sneak into the field of 68, however they could be poised to do some damage that they are here. They drew Nevada, a so-so No. 7 seed, in the very first round, and we give Florida a 42 percent chance of pulling the upset there. Last year’s national runner-up, Michigan, probably waits in Round two, and that is a difficult matchup (23 percentage odds of Florida) — but if the Gators win, they’ve a 38 percent chance of making the Elite Eight. In a region with a number of possibilities that are good-but-flawed, Florida looks better than the.
Player to watch: Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga The linchpin of the Zags isn’t the consensus lottery selection, nor the two veteran guards who have started 87 percent of Gonzaga’s games . It’s Brandon Clarke, a move from San Jose State who is in his first active season with the team. He is possibly the most underappreciated player in the country.
On a group that features a 7-footer protecting the rim, it’s Clarke. Clarke has responded by setting a single-season blocks record and posting the highest block rate of any group under Few.
“Should I feel like when I could find a good, quick jump , I’ll pretty much leap with anyone,” Clarke told me. “I mean, I have seen Zion (Williamson) coming down through the lane before on TV, and when I can not jump at the ideal time, I likely would not jump with him, however… I don’t actually see myself not jumping with anybody.”
Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Baylor over No. 8 Syracuse (48 percent); No. 10 Florida over No. 7 Nevada (42 percent); No. 12 Murray State over No. 5 Marquette (32 percent)
Read more: newyork-info.com