This a rematch of FSU’s upset of Gonzaga in last year’s Sweet 16. Gonzaga is a powerhouse that plays questionable competition; FSU has made a second straight Sweet 16 while winning 29 games playing in the ACC. Gonzaga is the only team that has beaten a fully healthy Duke; FSU lost to Duke by two and 10 points.
Matchup to watch: Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura vs. Christ Koumadje. The 6-8 Hachimura is excellent at finishing near the rim. The 7-4 Koumadje represents an increased degree of difficulty for any Zag in the paint.
X-factor: Zags junior Killian Tillie, a 6-10 forward, is recovering from injury but showed signs of aggressiveness in the first two rounds.
Three stars to watch
1. Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga: The junior forward is one of the best all-around players in college basketball.
2. Mfiandu Kabengele, FSU: The forward is his team’s leading scorer and has 43 tourney points.
3. Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga: Terrific forward averages 19.7 points with a variety of post moves.
Florida State 78, Gonzaga 77. FSU has lost only two of its past 18 games — to North Carolina and Duke. FSU’s size and strength will disrupt the Zags offense just enough.