Vegas Odds: Florida St +1.5 Bet at bodog
Why Florida St will win:
Florida St at times has played like a fringe Top 25 team due to their #1 ranked defense, and they've been particularly impressive in road or neutral games, so the venue shouldn't matter much. Gonzaga lost a home team against Wake Forest, who is similar in overall makeup to FSU.
Seminole to Watch:
Solomon Alabi - 12 ppg, 6 rpg, 1 apg
While Matt Bouldin may be Gonzaga's biggest name player, they're at their best when Elias Harris doing work down low. Alabi will need to be a force in the paint to prevent Gonzaga from scoring in the interior and forcing guys like Gray to hit outside shots.
Why Gonzaga will win:
Gonzaga's resume from start to finish is impressive.. not too many teams can claim wins over Wisconsin, Illinois, Memphis, St Mary's twice, and Cincinnati. With big Robert Sacre in the paint and Elias Harris up front too, Gonzaga has the size to match Alabi and Singleton. Plus, Bouldin is always solid in the backcourt.
Bulldog to Watch:
Elias Harris, F - 15 ppg, 7 rpg, 1 apg
Despite being a superb freshman, Harris has faded in recent weeks and has been a big part of the reason why Gonzaga's had some questionable outings. When he's approaching 20 ppg, Gonzaga's offense is twice as dangerous. If he's quiet, the rest of Gonzaga's offensive players are rather mediocre.
How it will go down:
One of only one or two games in the first round where the lower seeded team is ranked higher. Gonzaga's offense hasn't looked nearly as dangerous as it did early in the year, and FSU can really shut teams down. However, FSU hasn't won a tourney game in a decade, and I think that streak continues.
Betting Pick: Gonzaga
Real Pick: Gonzaga