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Coaches: North Carolina Final Four advantage to fade after tipoff

Coaches: North Carolina Final Four advantage to fade after tipoff”

The Zags were expected to reach the national semifinals as a No. 1 seed, but the seventh-seeded Gamecocks are a huge surprise.

Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

"North Carolina's players are experienced from going to the final game a year ago and Coach Williams has been there and done that", Altman said. "And it's a win-win for everybody when it's done right", Few said. In all seriousness, kudos to you if you did as few saw this run coming.

South Carolina: Wilson got her fourth foul with 5:16 left and stayed in the game. It's the first time since 2006 that the Final Four will feature three first-time coaches there.

The other bracket is more wide open, with the North Carolina Tar Heels, a number-one seed, facing the second-place Kentucky Wildcats. On paper it does not look easy but if you compare each teams March Madness run SC has the upper hand. Strong on defense, yes.

A tip-in from Kotsar provided the Gamecocks with their first lead of the second half at 49-48 with 11:28 to play.

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SC guard Duane Notice said his team's run is no surprise.

Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss is building on his great season with an even better tournament, leading his team in assists and second half scoring. How anyone can pick OR and SC in their Final Four is mind blowing. The Gamecocks blew out Marquette and Baylor in rounds 1 and 3 but won narrow games against Duke and Florida in between. As noted above, though, this club is built on defense. OR was 180th nationally in defensive rebounding. "I thanked them for four wonderful years of Elite Eight basketball". Coach Mark Few's club was the best team in the country in the regular season with just one loss - at home to BYU on February 25 - and leading the nation in defensive efficiency while in the Top 15 on the offensive side.

Her son nailed the shot and put the Tar Heels up by two points with less than a second left in the game. "Well, maybe they're more elite than everyone thinks they are".

"They told my grandma, you got to leave your house now, and you're going to this country where you don't speak their language".

Pace game, OR vs.

ATTENDANCE: The game with no West Coast team drew 3,134.

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The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been overlooked all season long, despite losing just one game all year. FSU was held to 38 percent shooting, while SC came out on fire. The tournament - to date - we're up 10 percent this year over last year, averaging 9.8 million viewers, which is just spectacular. But the Gamecocks' small lineup, featuring Doniyah Cliney at center, could not sustain the early momentum in building the 16-point lead. "So whenever he pops, it's hard for them to find him". Otherwise, Karnowski was headed back to Europe to play professionally.

On the recruiting front, White signed three top-100 prospects in 6-6 guard Deaundrae Bullard and 6-8 post players Isaiah Stokes and Chase Johnson. So in terms of a favorite, [North] Carolina would be the one getting the action, because people know them; they're on... over the course of the season. "The good news is that one of the two will be in the national championship".

That total is really low, which indicates how good these two are defensively. I think he's re-focused on the game.

Frank Martin and his South Carolina Gamecocks have been the cinderella of this NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs were undefeated and ranked No. 1 before suffering their lone loss of the season so far, February 25 to BYU in their regular-season finale.

The Gamecocks will face an uphill battle against a Gonzaga team that has lost only one game all season, but don't expect that to deter them. Give the points and go under the total. That's enough for me.

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