Inside the matchup: Gonzaga takes on Florida State with Elite Eight hopes on the line
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Revenge is not the only thing on the mind of the Gonzaga Bulldogs Thursday.
A chance to prove they deserved that one-seed, and advance to the Elite Eight is what really matters to this team.
Last year, moments before tip-off against FSU in the Sweet Sixteen, the rest of Gonzaga fans learned Killian Tillie would not be available to play. A hip pointer was re-aggravated earlier in the day and made it too painful for the Zag’s second-leading scorer and rebounder to compete.
Florida State didn’t take long to take over the game, making any shot in the key a daunting task, as they packed the small area with three and often four players over 6’9″ .
This year, the Seminoles haven’t lost much. They graduated a few seniors but will play without senior leader and last year’s leading scorer Phil Cofer , who will be attending his father’s funeral instead. Cofer found out during the NCAA Tournament that his father passed away in a heartbreaking call from his mother in the locker room after a game.
The Seminoles received a four seed in the West, and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few believes they were ” vastly under-seeded. ” FSU won 16 of their final 18 games in the regular season, and are coming off a 90-62 dismantling of Murray State.
Gonzaga was without Tillie , but Brandon Clarke and Geno Crandall are new faces that have added serious depth and athleticism to the Bulldog’s roster. The Zags will be looking for their first Elite Eight appearance since 2017, when they advaced all the way to the national championship.
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Tip-off is set for 4:09 p.m. PT, but Alyssa Charlston and Keith Osso will have extra coverage pre-game on Twitter and Facebook.
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