The Final Four and New National Champion
April 4, 2017
As the NCAA Tournament starts to close Four teams remain standing. South Carolina (7), Gonzaga (1), Oregon (3), North Carolina(1). You may be thinking to yourself if you don’t watch College basketball how each of these teams got to where they are now.
To start off their tournament run the Gamecocks played Marquette and defeated them 93-73. The Gamecocks would then go on to play the two seed in Duke. The Gamecocks went into the half down by 7 to the Blue Devils, but they would find their offense in the second half scoring 65 points (most points scored in a half against a Mike Krzyzewski team) against the Blue Devils. The Gamecocks would keep up their offense as they took on the 3 seed Baylor. The Gamecocks would start off hot against the Bears going into halftime with a 37-22 lead. South Carolina would not slow down in the second half as they would beat the bears 70-50. Then the Gamecocks would match up against SEC counterparts in Florida in the Elite Eight. South Carolina would struggle to keep the Gators from scoring beyond the arc as they went into the half down by seven. The Gamecocks would not give up as they used their physical defense to get back into the game and to win the game 77-70. The Gamecocks will take on Gonzaga in the Final Four on April 1st in Phoenix.
Gonzaga would start out their tournament against the 16th seed South Dakota State, they Zags would beat them handily by a score of 66-46. The Bulldogs would then be faced with a matchup against Northwestern. The Zags will hold on to win the fight against Northwestern 79-73. The Bulldogs would get into another test as they had to take on West Virginia, the Zags would survive another battle as they beat the mountaineers 61-58. The Zags would then take on Xavier and would handily beat them by a score of 83-59.
Oregon would start off their tournament run with a 93-77 win over Iona in the round of 64. The Ducks would then face a tough test against the University of Rhode Island. The ducks would go into the half down 46-38. The ducks would find their offense in the second half scoring 37 points compared to Rhode Island’s 26. Oregon would face their toughest test of the tournament next in 7 seed Michigan. The ducks would win a thriller with a score of 69-68. The Oregon Ducks would next face up against the Kansas Jayhawks, The Ducks came out of the start scoring 44 points in the first half compared to Kansas’s 33 points. Oregon would win the game 74-60.
North Carolina would come into this year’s tournament with one word on their mind, REDEMPTION. The Tar Heels lost last year on a late game winner by Villanova’s Kris Jenkins. The Tar Heels started the tournament off any way you would expect a 16 seed to, they trounced Texas Southern 103-64. The Tar Heels next test and probably their most controversial game was their 72-65 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Next up was the Butler Bulldogs who the Tar Heels defeated 92-80. On to the Elite Eight for the Tar Heels and the Kentucky Wildcats, the game was a close one and made a new North Carolina hero in Luke Maye. With ten seconds left in the game Kentucky’s star freshman Malik Monk made a game tying three. Theo Pinson brought the ball down the court for the Tar Heels and passed to Luke Maye who nailed the game winner with three seconds on the clock.
South Carolina Versus Gonzaga
The 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs came into the game expected to have an easy game against the Gamecocks and for the most part they did, that was until the Gamecocks went on a 16-0 run to take the lead in the game with seven minutes left in the game. The zags would settle down on defense and find a way to stop the Gamecocks run. The Zags would retake the lead themselves going on a 7-0 run to make the score 72-67 and from there it was trading punches in which the Zags came out on top winning the game 77-73.
North Carolina Versus Oregon
The Tar Heels came into the game expected to easily take the game against the ducks. The game would be close at halftime with the score being 39-36 in favor of the Tar Heels. The game would be close for almost the rest of the game with the biggest lead being a 10 point North Carolina lead. The Ducks being down 69-75 would end the game on a 7-2 run but would sadly fall 77-76.
The North Carolina Tar Heels versus the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The only two remaining one seeds in the country and arguably the best teams in the country at the start of the year. The story of this game was foul trouble as the Heels and the Zags combined for a total of 44 foul and 52 free throws. The game would be filled with the whistle being blown and the game coming to an end with the score of 71-65.
North Carolina Tar Heels.