How to watch Gonzaga's trip to the Sweet 16

Ross Houston
March 23, 2017

In the Round of 32, facing familiar foe Maryland, West Virginia forced 23 turnovers and saw McDonald's All-American Melo Trimble injured halfway through the second half. When the Fighting Irish backed off the perimeter to protect the paint, WVU was happy to shoot open jumpers. Gonzaga's season-high in turnovers is 20 against Tennessee. Their 7.8 turnover margin also leads NCAA Division 1 men's basketball.

"They're big", admitted WVU head coach Bob Huggins. And you know it's great when you don't have to kind of tell people to go in there, they go in there and you can see, Tarik came in not a very good shooter and he's a pretty good shooter now.

"We got a little challenged at the other end and started making bonehead passes and bonehead decisions, and needed to just settle down", Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. The 6-foot-9, 228-pound junior averages 16.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. They're gaining extra possessions because of the turnovers they create and that's going to play a major roll in this one here.

"We've played against size", added the coach. "It's us guards job to make him uncomfortable".

SOUTH REGIONAL (1) North Carolina vs. (4) Butler and (2) Kentucky vs. (3) UCLA This bracket shaped up "perfectly" from a bracket alignment standpoint, and arguably the best Sweet 16 matchup is in this bracket.

In the post, the Bulldogs have two big guys that dominate the boards, which could be problematic for the Mountaineers. Claiming a 29th on Thursday likely will hinge upon Carter disrupting Nigel Williams-Goss, who leads the Zags in minutes, scoring, assists and steals. Gonzaga has another seven footer with center Zach Collins.

WVU's goal will be to take away the threat down low and make the Bulldogs shoot 3s.

In the Championship Game, Da'Sean Butler had a game-winner to give West Virginia their only Big East Tournament Championship. We keep that in mind. If the Musketeers can offer the same inside play they did in routing Florida State, this part of the equation becomes much closer. I picked Gonzaga and Arizona to have a rematch in the Elite 8, and at this point I have no real reason to not believe in my prediction. Gonzaga averages 40.6 rebounds per game and collects 7.9 more boards per game than its opponents. He is supported by sophomore Josh Perkins and senior Jordan Mathews.

Huntington Prep has been one of the top basketball prep schools in the country with multiple future NBA players passing through including Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng. The Wildcats were good enough against zones from UCLA and OR in the Pac-12 tournament, and the trio of Kadeem Allen, Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins combine to average 38.0 points, 14.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists. EDGE: Xavier. The West Virginia Mountaineers are shooting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc and 68.3 percent from the free throw line.

"Everybody's just stepping up for us as the right time", Carter said. "Sometimes it worked. But we're going to put forth 100 percent and we're going to live and die with it". Jevon Carter is averaging 13.3 points and 4.9 rebounds while Esa Ahmad is averaging 11.3 points and 1.8 assists. Last year, they were defeated 63-60 in the Sweet Sixteen by Syracuse.

Gonzaga faces its toughest hurdle yet in a potential Final Four run.

Because WVU uses the entire length of the court, the Mountaineers play a rotation with 10 players averaging at least 11 minutes played per game. Junior forward Johnathan Williams rounds out the Gonzaga players in double figures per game with 10 points and 6.6 rebounds. The Mountaineers are looking to advance to the Elite Eight for the fourth time in school history and second under Huggins' guidance. The Gonzaga Bulldogs have won 10 straight neutral site games.

When: 7:39 pm ET. The game will be televised nationally on TBS.

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