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Categorized | NCAAB

2018 Sweet 16 West Region Predictions and Free Picks – NCAA Tournament Predictions

2018 Sweet 16 West Region Predictions and Free Picks – NCAA Tournament Predictions: After the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament, the West Region was arguably the most chalk region of the bracket with only ninth-seeded Florida State pulling an upset. Things got a little crazier in the Round of 32 as both top-seeded Xavier and second-seeded North Carolina went down, creating an unexpected pair of Sweet 16 matchups and creating a wide-open race for a spot in the Final Four.

In the top half of the region, Florida State will take on Gonzaga with the winner facing off against the winner of Michigan and Texas A&M. The Wolverines and Bulldogs have been the title game in recent years, but the Seminoles and Aggies will be trying to stop them from returning.

Here is a closer look at both of the Sweet 16 matchups in the West Region of the 2018 NCAA Tournament Bracket.

2018 Sweet 16 West Region Predictions and Free Picks – NCAA Tournament Predictions

2018 Sweet 16 West Region Predictions and Free Picks – NCAA Tournament Predictions

2018 Sweet 16 South Region Matchup Previews

No. 9 Florida State vs. No. 4 Gonzaga

After failing to deliver as a frontrunner in recent tournament trips, the Seminoles have been thriving in the underdog role, knocking off highly-touted freshman Michael Porter Jr. and Missouri and toppling top-seeded Xavier. Last year’s national runner-up, the Bulldogs have been taking care of business as they hope to return to the Final Four.

It hasn’t always been pretty for Florida State this year or in the tournament, but the Seminoles grind to the finish and use their athleticism on the perimeter to make up for hot-and-cold shooting stretches. Gonzaga hasn’t gotten near the love they did last year, but the Bulldogs are once again one of the more balanced teams in the country. They have proved during the tournament, using their defense to survive a lackluster shooting performance in their first game and using their offense to outlast a solid Ohio State team to reach the Sweet 16.

In the end, I expect Gonzaga’s balance and consistency on both ends of the court to be the difference in this one. The Seminoles were able to storm back and beat Xavier because the Musketeers got sloppy on defense and reckless on offense. The Bulldogs won’t afford them the same opportunity.

Projected Winner: Gonzaga Bulldogs

No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 7 Texas A&M

The Wolverines have kept their late-season momentum going all the way into the Sweet 16 where they will face an Aggies team that seems to have found a recipe for success at just the right time.

On paper, Michigan would seem like the obvious pick, but the Wolverines haven’t exactly bee firing on all cylinders, especially on offense. They scored just 61 points in a win over Montana, and they needed a buzzer-beat to get past Houston 64-63. On the flip side, the Aggies have suddenly found some discipline to go with their size and athleticism, and the blew the defending national champion North Carolina Tar Heels off the court 86-65 in the Round of 32.

The momentum is on Texas A&M’s side in this one, and while Michigan is certainly capable of playing better than they have up to this point, the Wolverines still have to deal with the surging Aggies. I expect Texas A&M’s size to give Michigan fits on both ends of the court, and I expect the Aggies to win the battle on the glass and get some baskets in transition. A hot shooting night from beyond the arc could save the Wolverines, but I’m not counting on it.

Projected Winner: Texas A&M Aggies

You can get expert 2018 NCAA Tournament picks and 2018 NCAA Tournament predictions this month from NSAwins.com’s top handicappers plus a pre-filled downloadable and printable 2018 NCAA Tournament Bracket to help you win your office pool!

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