2023 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Picks & Predictions (Saturday)

Mar 25, 2023 - 9:51 AM

Tonight should be two incredible games to start the Elite 8 weekend. Four teams that are playing well offensively, and we could see exciting finishes for both.

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2023 NCAA Tournament Guide (March Madness)

Saturday’s Best Elite 8 Picks & Predictions

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Connecticut (-2.5) vs. Gonzaga O/U 153.5 (-110/-110)

UConn has been running through this tournament with three 15+ point wins. Offensively they’ve been firing on all cylinders, including Jordan Hawkins, who is maturing as a guard, and Adama Sanogo, who has been dominant down in the paint. If you’re not in the Big East, then you haven’t been able to beat the Huskies, thanks to their undefeated non-conference record. They are also the best two-way team in the country, as they are top 13 in offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.

The tournament has yet to be kind to Gonzaga. It took the Bulldogs mounting a comeback to beat TCU and a late three from Julian Strawther to beat UCLA to get them in the Elite 8. They also have a dangerous high and low post duo with Strawther and Drew Timme, which justifies their top offensive efficiency ratings.

What ultimately is going to hurt the Zags is their defense. You’ve seen it throughout the tournament, and they just let a double-digit lead slip away late in the game against UCLA. UConn is offensively playing well both at the rim and on the perimeter, where they will take advantage.

Pick Connecticut -2.5 (-110)

Florida Atlantic vs. Kansas State (-1.5) O/U 143.5 (-110/-110)

Florida Atlantic is an uptempo team that will run up and down the court and move the ball. They showed against Tennessee that if you don’t have stamina, they will tire you out and make a late surge. Johnell Davis has led the way for the Owls, scoring a combined 44 points in the last two games, and he will need to continue to make plays for FAU to be in the Final Four.

Kansas State has been resilient throughout this tournament and has been tested, especially in that overtime win against Michigan State. KenPom has them in the top 35 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and they like to control the pace of the game, which gets their opponents to make mistakes.

FAU needs an answer for Markquis Nowell, who will control the tempo for the Wildcats’ offense. He had one of the best performances in tournament history for a point guard, with 20 points, 19 assists (NCAA Tournament record), and five steals. 

This could be one of the most competitive games in the next two days. Both teams want to move fast, spread the ball and find open looks. For both teams, we will see a lot of offense.

Pick: Over 143.5 (-110)

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