The first tickets for the 2023 Final Four will be punched on Saturday as the Elite Eight portion of the NCAA Tournament commences. Following the opener of the evening that will see Kansas State take on FAU in the East Regional final, the attention will turn to the final in the West Region featuring two of the biggest brands remaining as No. 3 seed Gonzaga battles with No. 4 seed UConn.
The Zags did not play up to the standard of its usual dominant self at certain times this season, yet here they are once again right on the precipice of an appearance in the Final Four. UConn, meanwhile, made it clear all season that the program was turning a corner under coach Dan Hurley, despite facing some adversity in early January. Punching a ticket back to the Final Four on Saturday for the first time since 2014 would put the college basketball world on notice that the Huskies are a force to be reckoned with once again.
Following along with the Gonzaga vs. UConn live blog as the Bulldogs and Huskies clash for a Final Four berth.
Watch Gonzaga vs. UConn in Elite Eight
Date: Saturday, March 25 | Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena -- Las Vegas
TV: TBS | Live stream: March Madness Live
Gonzaga vs. UConn: What to know
UConn emphatically punched their ticket to this Elite Eight stage on Thursday as the Huskies throttled Arkansas 88-65. Four UConn players scored in double digits in the win: Jordan Hawkins (24), Adama Sanogo (18), Alex Karaban (11) and Nahiem Alleyne (10). Gonzaga's entry into the Elite Eight was not as easy, but the Bulldogs had just enough to edge out the UCLA 79-76 in their Sweet 16 game. Star forward Drew Timme took over for Gonzaga, finishing with 36 points along with 13 rebounds.
A pair of numbers to keep in mind before tip-off: UConn has been holding its opponents to a field-goal percentage of 40.60%, which is good enough for 26th in the nation. Gonzaga, however, comes into the game boasting the highest field-goal percentage in the country at 52.60%. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.
The Huskies will also be seeking to avenge the 73-70 loss they suffered the last time these two teams played in November 2015.
Gonzaga vs. UConn prediction
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Don't be fooled by the seedlings. UConn is playing better than anyone in the NCAA Tournament field as the Huskies have won each of their games to this point by double-digit margins. Big man Adama Sanogo will be a tough assignment for the Zags, but even if Gonzaga mitigates Sanogo's impact, the Huskies have shooters surrounding him who can rack up points in a hurry. UConn is comfortable playing fast or slow and can adapt to whatever looks Gonzaga presents. If the Zags are going to win, they will need more from their guards than what they have received for much of the season. Pick: UConn -2