Roberto Soltero, 23 Sports

The NCAA Tournament’s first week was nothing short of spectacular. Let’s take a look at which teams in the West region might advance to the third week of the tournament.

Sweet 16 matchups in the West region:

No. 9 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 4 Gonzaga Bulldogs

One of the things many people weren’t expecting was seeing Florida State advance to the second week of the tournament and yet they did. The Seminoles dominated the Missouri Tigers even if the final score might not reflect it and they upset the number one seeded Xavier Musketeers in a thrilling game. The Gonzaga Bulldogs almost lost its first game against UNC Greensboro and battled it out against Ohio State before pulling out the win. One thing we know is that Florida State has many weapons who can show out in any given night while Gonzaga has one of the best big men in the nation in Jonathan Williams and Rui Hachimura and have an all-around scorer in Zach Norvell. I believe Gonzaga has the defensive and offensive weapons of a Final Four team. Not to take anything away from the Seminoles but Xavier wasn’t a one seed in the eyes of many. The key for Florida State is to contain the Bulldogs big men, if they can’t do that they’ll have a hard time trying to win this game.

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

If you go back to the preseason the Aggies were ranked No. 25 in the nation, but they didn’t play like they were during the regular season. They finished the season 22-12 overall and 9-9 in SEC play. If you go back to this past week in the first and second round of the tournament the Aggies played better than the No. 25 team. They beat Providence in the first round and toyed with North Carolina in the second round. The Aggies will have to face a tough Michigan team on Thursday. The Wolverines barely got to the Sweet 16. A game winning three by Jordan Poole at the buzzer secured the spot for the Wolverines. Now this might be a battle if Michigan’s best player Mo Wagner can deliver an amazing performance if he can’t then this might be a win for Texas A&M. Wagner also can’t get in foul trouble because if he does the Aggies have a 95 percent chance to win this game. The Aggies have two of the best big men in the nation in Robert Williams and Tyler Davis both of whom had a great game against North Carolina. Like I said for the Florida State game if the Wolverines can’t control the Aggies big men they don’t stand a chance.

Possible Elite Eight Matchup: No. 4 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies

For all those basketball fans who love seeing a game dominated by the big men this might be the game for you. Imagine a matchup between Jonathan Williams and Rui Hachimura vs. Robert Williams and Tyler Davis. One can’t go wrong in choosing against either of those two duos but I might have to lean on Williams and Davis. Both duos defensively are great but in offensive terms Williams and Davis have more abilities to score the basketball. I might have picked Williams and Davis as the best big men duo in this matchup but I won’t pick the Aggies to win this game. The guy who needs to have a great game is Zach Norvell. He has been on fire the last two games and the Bulldogs need another scorer besides their big men who might have trouble scoring in this game. Sure, the Aggies have other scorers but I don’t believe they can provide much if Gonzaga plays hard nose defense. In terms of point guard play both TJ Starks for A&M and Josh Perkins for Gonzaga are good. Starks did have a good game against UNC where he scored 21 but I don’t believe he’ll repeat that. This game can go either way but I just see Gonzaga pulling out the win if they can limit A&M’s big men. If both Davis and Williams have a bad game then I don’t see how the Aggies can win this game.

How Gonzaga advances to the Final Four?

Simple, they need to keep playing the good defense that they’ve had the first two games. Like I mention they need Norvell to be there primary scorer in a possible elite eight game. Hachimura and Williams won’t have it easy against Robert Williams and Tyler Davis. If they score the ball from behind the arc like they did on their last game they’ll be just fine.

How Texas A&M advances to the final four?

If in some way Tyler Davis and Robert Williams can have a good game then I believe they’ll win this ballgame. Sure, DJ Hogg can shoot the long ball but I just don’t think the Aggies will have easy baskets in this game. Can TJ Starks repeat what he did against North Carolina is my question. If Starks repeats that type of performance and the Aggies can get someone else to score the basketball then I don’t know why they can’t take this game.