Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament West Region Elite 8 Game Breakdown

West Region Elite Eight Game Breakdown
Michigan is back in the Elite Eight for the third time in six years after destroying Texas A&M 99-72 in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night. The Wolverines were very efficient offensively, shooting 61.9 percent from the floor and turning the ball over only seven times. Three-point shots were also a game changer for Michigan as they knocked down 14 of 24 attempts from behind the arc. Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman scored 24 points, Moritz Wagner chipped in 24 points, and Charles Matthews added 18 points to lead the Wolverines to the dominant victory. Defensively, Michigan was outstanding as they limited the Aggies backcourt of T.J. Starks and Admon Gilder to a combined 15 points on 7 of 22 shooting between them. Michigan also did a very good job of limiting Robert Williams at both ends of the court. Williams scored just 12 points and had just six rebounds.
Florida State continued its magical run in the NCAA Tournament with an impressive 75-60 win over the number four seed Gonzaga. It was an historic win for the Seminoles as it was the first time that they have beaten three higher seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament. The defensive performance by Florida State was relentless for 40 minutes and the Seminoles limited the Bulldogs to a 33.9 percent field goal percentage. In addition, it was the ability to control the paint that helped Florida State as they had nine blocked shots, led by Mfiondu Kabengele who blocked four shots and altered several others. Offensively, the Seminoles played fearless and they did an excellent job of attacking the basket when the opportunities where there in transition. Terrance Mann scored 18 points to lead Florida State and all eleven players scored in this contest. C.J. Walker stepped up with nine points on three timely three-point shots. Braian Angola added nine points along with six rebounds and five assists. One other thing that stood out about the Seminoles performance was the way that they answered with a key basket or stop whenever Gonzaga went on a run. That type of poise and resilience is a big reason why they are 40 minutes away from a trip to the Final Four.
The Keys to victory for the Wolverines for them to get to San Antonio and the Final Four are as follows: First, they must find a way to get Wagner going early against Kabengele down low with some good quality shots. Next, knocking down shots from the perimeter to keep the Seminoles honest defensively must happen as well. Abdur-Rahkman and Matthews are going to be critical in this game for Michigan as Florida State did an excellent job of shutting down the Bulldogs backcourt. The trio of Zach Norvell Jr., Silas Nelson, and Josh Perkins combined for 23 points and were not able to get comfortable at all shooting the basketball. For the Seminoles, if they are to advance on to the Final Four they must continue to play fearless as a team at both ends of the basketball court. If they can speed the game up with Mann and Angola in the backcourt that should open opportunities for the bigs to go at Wagner and try and get him into foul trouble early. Both teams are very deserving to be in this position after their dominant performances in the Sweet 16. The tempo of the game should end up in the 70’s for both teams and be decided by single digits.