Elite Eight Day 1 Preview & Predictions

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With the eight teams remaining winning three straight to reach the Elite Eight in hopes of cutting down the nets to reach the Final Four.

Saturday, March 25

Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell celebrates after scoring against Kentucky during the second half of a second-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

No. 3 Kansas State vs No. 9 FAU

After the record-breaking performance from Markquis Nowell against Michigan State Thursday to reach the Elite Eight, the Wildcats are in a prime opportunity to reach the Final Four. In what’s considered the game of the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats put on a show on the offensive end with 98 points and will likely be limited to under 70 against FAU. Kansas State will have to put away the FAU and not allow the Owls to hang around as their past opponents did. Late-game heroics from the Owls have kept FAU from being eliminated and will remain the same in their matchup against Kansas State. Already, Kansas State will be heavily favored by experts, but look out for the upset if FAU sticks around late in the game.

Prediction: Kansas State

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Julian Strawther (0) reacts after hitting a game-winning shot against the UCLA Bruins during the second half of an NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen basketball game on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Gonzaga won the game 79-76. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

No. 3 Gonzaga vs No. 4 UConn

In a thrilling finish against UCLA to reach the Elite Eight, the Bulldogs have made a comeback in each of their NCAA Tournament games as defenses have struggled to keep pace with the highest-scoring offense in college. On the other hand, UConn has won each game by double digits and has played just as well as any team in college. The physicality defense of the Huskies will have to match up against the fast-paced offense of Gonzaga. Vegas odds slightly favor UConn, but this matchup is expected to be a dogfight between two NCAA powerhouses compared to the first Elite Eight game.

Prediction: UConn

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