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Joe Boozell | | March 29, 2019

Sweet 16 results: Instant analysis from all 4 Thursday games

Purdue advances to the Elite Eight

Four teams are on to the Elite Eight. Four more will be celebrating Friday night.

Here are some quick thoughts from every Thursday game.

Gonzaga 72, Florida State 58

Gonzaga has had the No. 1 offense in the country for most of the season, per KenPom, but the defense is what carried the Bulldogs against Florida State.

The Seminoles only scored 58 points, committed 14 turnovers and finished an icy 3-for-20 from 3-point range. Trent Forrest was the only FSU player who finished in double figures.

No. 1 Gonzaga defeats No. 4 Florida State, 72-58

Brandon Clarke, arguably the best player in the country not named Zion Williamson (an unconventional take, but he's so darn good) was dominant on both ends. Clarke blocked five shots and scored 15 points; it's hard to tell if he's better on offense or defense, and he's crazy-good at both. Josh Perkins also had one of his best defensive games of the year.

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The Zags' scoring ability is their best attribute. But you need to be able to win in multiple ways in order to make a deep NCAA tournament run. Thursday night, Gonzaga showed it can do just that.

Purdue 99, Tennessee 94 (OT)

This Tennessee team was as hot and cold as any high NCAA tournament seed in recent memory. You knew the Volunteers would make a run even when they were trailing big in the second half.

But mental toughness is what separates this Purdue team from previous Matt Painter squads. The Boilermakers are fearless. Ryan Cline was out of his mind, hitting stepback 3s and contorting his body around screens while drilling tough shots. Cline finished with 27 points on just 13 field goal attempts.

Watch: Ending of Purdue and Tennessee's Sweet 16 battle

Edwards struggled during Tennessee's big run, but had a nice game overall, going for 29 points. Edwards and Cline form such a lethal backcourt. Edwards is one of the best shot creators in the game, and Cline is a straight-up assassin with underrated shot creating chops himself. He generated his own offense routinely against good Tennessee athletes; that's not a sentence we'd ever think to write a year ago.

The Purdue offense is so tough to handle. Sure, Tennessee also struggled from the foul line, but the Boilermakers went 16-for-33 from the stripe and still finished with 99 points.

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Awfully impressive.

Texas Tech 63, Michigan 44

The two best defenses in the country, er, lived up to the hype? Yeah, let's go with that.

In seriousness, the No. 1 and 2 defenses in America performed as expected, but Texas Tech was extra locked in. And it had the best guy on the floor, by far, in Jarrett Culver. A top five player in the sport plus an insane defense is a winning recipe every single time.

The Wolverines finished 1-for-19 from 3-point range and shot 32.7 percent as a team. Texas Tech is national championship-good, by the way. The Red Raiders have now won 12 of 13 with wins over Michigan, Buffalo, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma and Baylor. Whew.

Davide Moretti has blossomed into a legitimate second option to Culver; that spot was once considered a weakness for Tech. Gonzaga will have its hands full with the Red Raiders.

Virginia 53, Oregon 49

Far from pretty, but Virginia will take it. The Hoos are in the Elite Eight a year after falling to UMBC in the first round.

Virginia didn't get a single point from its bench, but four starters finished in double figures. The Ducks only got 45 shots off — 11 less than the Cavaliers — and that was really the difference in the game. Talking about shot attempts isn't sexy, but it's crucial. Oregon simply didn't get the ball to the rim enough, and that's part of the genius of Virginia. It slows you down, turns you over, and rarely fouls. Every possession is a chore. Often times, merely attempting a shot should be considered a success for the opponent. That's nuts.

Ty Jerome was key down the stretch and Kihei Clark was a reliable offensive creator throughout the night. It will be fascinating to see Edwards and Cline go up against this notoriously stout defense.

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