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The Final Four are revealed

Corey Plasky, Editor

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After two weeks of madness, the Final Four is finally set for Phoenix, Arizona. The Elite Eight was nothing short of spectacular, and as we prepare for next week’s semifinals, here are this year’s four representatives.

Two teams from the Carolina states made it to the Final Four this year, but one may not be who the fans expected. While the North Carolina Tar Heels are making their twentieth appearance, an unfamiliar team from the south will be playing on college basketball’s biggest stage. The South Carolina Gamecocks have been this year’s cinderella team, and their magical run has their sights on a chance for a banner.

USC finished the SEC tournament with a 22-10 record and were bounced from their conference tournament in the quarterfinals. When they received a 7 seed in the tournament and a first round matchup against Marquette, few believed they’d make it past the first round. In fact, more brackets in America had three of the four 16 seeded teams in the final four than the Gamecocks.

Led by SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell, USC saved their best basketball for March and have made a memorable run to the Final Four. With a big win over Marquette and two upsets over heavily favored Duke and Baylor, it became clear Frank Martin’s squad belonged with the best of the best. After a 77-70 victory over Florida, the Gamecocks will be playing in the school’s first Final Four ever.

While one Carolina team turned many heads this March, the North Carolina Tar Heels did what all expected. After losing in last year’s championship, UNC has made it back to the Final Four and are playing at a high level. The Tar Heels have taken care of business in the tournament with the exception of a scare against Arkansas. After beating Butler, they were set up with a rematch against the Kentucky Wildcats.

The two met earlier in December in what was certainly the game of the year in college basketball. The Wildcats won a 103-100 thriller and star freshman Malik Monk scored a game high 47 points.

This time around, things were different. The Tar Heels came out on top with a 75-73 win thanks to Luke Maye’s game winning shot with 0.3 seconds left after Malik Monk tied the game up with 10 seconds left. UNC is on to it’s twentieth Final Four and it’s second in two years.

Oregon and Gonzaga will also be competing for this year’s championship. The Final Four is unfamiliar territory for these two, as Oregon has only been once in 1939 and Gonzaga has never been. Gonzaga has dominated March and it’s opponents, while Oregon, on the other hand, relied on clutch play from Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks to lead them to Arizona. After hitting the game winning three vs Rhode Island in the round of 32, Dorsey came up clutch once again to lead the Ducks past Michigan. Both had big wins on the weekend as Gonzaga blew out Xavier and Oregon beat up the heavily favored Kansas Jayhawks. The lack of experience had no effect on either team, as they cut down the nets in the Elite Eight and punched their tickets to the Final Four.

The semifinal games begin Saturday April 1st in Phoenix, Arizona. The first game of the night is the South Carolina Gamecocks vs the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The matchup between Sindarius Thornwell and Nigel Williams-Gross is one to look out for, as two of the country’s best guards battle on the biggest stage. Gonzaga’s 36-1 record is quite impressive, but at this point in the season, those stats and numbers are thrown out the window. Both USC and Gonzaga are playing at a high level, and one team’s magical run will come to an end, while the other will move on to the title game.

The last semifinal game is between UNC and Oregon. Two Wooden Award finalists in Justin Jackson and Dillon Brooks will go head to head as they try to lead their team to the National Championship game. The Tar Heels certainly have the upper hand when it comes to experience, but the Ducks aren’t a team that’ll back down. Both teams are coming off incredible wins in the Elite Eight and are playing great basketball at the right time.

We’re poised for two great matchups this weekend between four of the country’s best. A mix between one of the top programs in college basketball history and a couple of underdogs sets the stage for a day of madness. So sit on the couch, tune into CBS, get the snacks ready, and enjoy the 2017 Final Four.

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1 Comment

One Response to “The Final Four are revealed”

  1. Steven Marinaro on April 3rd, 2017 11:29 am

    nice flow, it sounds good

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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The Final Four are revealed