Gonzaga vs. West Virginia Prediction Roundtable – What’s Going To Happen

Gonzaga vs. West Virginia prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen between the Bulldogs and Mountaineers in their Sweet 16 matchup on Thursday evening.

Jeff Bartl

Gonzaga won’t get away with reaching through the basket to block shots in this one. Time to make way for Press Virginia, which will show the Zags a look they haven’t seen all year. The Mountaineers will be in Nigel Williams-Goss’ face all night long from the second he catches the inbounds pass.

I probably would’ve picked Gonzaga to go to the Final Four had it gotten any other draw, but West Virginia is the one team with which I don’t think it matches up well. It’ll be close, but Bob Huggins will get his team to the Elite Eight.

Robert Judin

West Virginia took down Notre Dame with extremely efficient shooting from the perimeter — and from the floor in general. You can’t really expect to shoot 50-plus percent every time, though. And Gonzaga will have to keep the defensive rotations and communication fluid to make sure that doesn’t happen. The Zags will have to monitor Jevon Carter because he can light up a scoreboard.

At the same time, the Mountaineers have to limit the penetration from Zach Collins and Nigel Williams-Goss. Keep Przemek Karnowski off the glass and try to push him off his spot before the entry pass gets there. That’s how West Virginia will be successful.

I don’t think the Mountaineers will be able to do it, though, and expect Gonzaga to get to the Elite Eight.

Dave Miller

Mark Few and the Bulldogs are in their third straight Sweet 16, but the Gonzaga head coach is still seeking his first Final Four. A tough challenge awaits with the Mountaineers, who are headed to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time under head coach Bob Huggins. The WVU defense, nicknamed “Press Virginia,” gave Notre Dame a lot of problems in the second round. Consider that the Fighting Irish entered that game ranked second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio.

The Bulldogs will struggle to adjust to that in-your-face defense before settling down offensively. As it gets more comfortable, Gonzaga’s size advantage will be the difference. Przemek Karnowski has a big second half to help the Zags reach the Elite Eight.

Kurt Schwerman

I’ve been waiting for the right moment to predict a loss for the Zags, and this appears to be it. Gonzaga went up big on Northwestern in the second round, only to completely unravel in the second half and let the Wildcats right back in it. And if it wasn’t for an atrocious no-call on an obvious goaltend, maybe Northwestern wins that game.

West Virginia is not Northwestern. They are much better and far more dangerous. Their uptempo style of play created some big problems for a very good Notre Dame team, and I’m expecting nothing different against Gonzaga. The one area in which West Virginia could get into trouble is in the paint. Gonzaga has Przemek Karnowski lurking down there, and he has the ability to change the outcome of a game with just his size. Unless he does that, I’m picking the Mountaineers to move on.

Brian Stultz

Can we discuss how Mark Few looks like a person who would play a cult leader in a movie? The man, as pointed out by our colleague and Gonzaga alumnus Sam Falcone, has no eyebrows.

I think this is where the Zags run ends, and it is unfortunate because this is a fun team to watch. West Virginia will press the holy daylights out of them, causing them to become uneasy and unable to get into any sort of offense. Mountaineers win.

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