NCAA Bracket 2019: Picks and Updated Odds Ahead of Saturday's Elite 8 Schedule

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2019

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 28: Brandon Clarke #15 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrates a play against the Florida State Seminoles during the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at Honda Center on March 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The NCAA men's basketball tournament field is down to eight teams, and the Elite Eight round will begin with a pair of matchups on Saturday night. The Final Four will be set after Sunday's pair of games.

The four teams playing Saturdaytwo No. 1 seeds and two No. 3 seedsearned victories in the Sweet 16 round on Thursday night to reach this point.

Along with an updated bracket, here's everything you need to know entering Saturday's Elite Eight contests.




Saturday's Elite Eight Schedule, Odds (All Times ET)

No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (-4), 6:09 p.m., TBS

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 1 Virginia (-4.5), 8:49 p.m., TBS




After having a 21-game win streak snapped in the West Coast Conference tournament championship game, Gonzaga has gotten back on track.

The Bulldogs have beaten No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, No. 9 Baylor and No. 4 Florida State to reach this point. The competition continues to get tougher, as they are set to face No. 3 Texas Tech on Saturday.

However, this again shouldn't be a problem for Gonzaga, which has won all three of its March Madness games by at least 12 points.

Texas Tech may have a strong defense, but it won't be able to slow Gonzaga's elite scoring attack. The Bulldogs average 88.2 points per game and are shooting 52.8 percent from the field.

Gonzaga has lost only three games this season, and it may just now be playing its best.

"Games like these are why I came here," Bulldogs junior forward Brandon Clarke said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "It's really, really fun to me, and I want to soak up every moment of it."

Gonzaga will win to advance to the Final Four for the second time in program history. The Bulldogs' only previous trip came in 2017.



Michael Conroy/Associated Press

In Saturday's second game, it will be another No. 1 seed that advances to this year's Final Four.

Virginia plays a much different style than Gonzaga, though, relying on its defense and playing low-scoring affairs. The Cavaliers have allowed a maximum of 56 points in each of their three NCAA tournament wins, over No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb, No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 12 Oregon.

Their next task is stopping No. 3 Purdue, which scored 99 points in its overtime win over No. 2 Tennessee in the Sweet 16 round.

The Cavaliers and Boilermakers both have long Final Four droughts; Purdue hasn't made it since 1980, and Virginia's last appearance was 1984.

Virginia has lost only three games this season, and two were against Duke, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Don't expect the Cavaliers to lose Saturday, as they make it to the Final Four for the first time in 35 years.

"Another opportunity to play with these guys and play for Coach [Tony] Bennett and the rest of the coaches, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be an amazing environment," Virginia junior guard Ty Jerome said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "So just the game you dream of as a kid."