The Final Four: How they got here

Few people even had South Carolina coming out of the first round. They made the Final Four as a #7 seed with star performances from Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier, knocking off Marquette, Duke, Baylor, and fellow SEC member Florida.

Gonzaga is probably the most picked against #1 seed in history. They have proved doubters wrong with stellar play from guard Nigel Williams-Goss and Missouri transfer Jonathan Williams, defeating South Dakota State, Northwestern, West Virginia, and Xavier to reach the Final Four.

North Carolina destroyed their first three opponents utilizing the best rebounding frontcourt in the nation, but needed a midrange bomb from former walk-on Luke Maye to defeat Kentucky.

Oregon lost Chris Boucher to injury before the tournament. Skeptics cited his incredible three-point shooting, ability to space the floor, and shot-blocking presence inside. Guess what? He wasn’t even a starter, and Oregon didn’t need him in wins over Iona, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Kansas.

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March Madness: Previewing Gonzaga vs. South Carolina

March Madness has earned its name this year. Reigning champion Villanova, Duke, Florida State, and Louisville were all knocked out in the round of 32. Arizona was defeated by Xavier in the Sweet 16. Gonzaga rose head and shoulders above their competition with stellar play from guard Nigel Williams-Goss, while South Carolina arrived in Phoenix due to their defense.

 

One Key to the Game

Gonzaga: Slow down Sindarius Thornwell. Where Thornwell goes, the Gamecock offense goes. If Goss is firing and Thornwell isn’t, it could be a long night for South Carolina.

South Carolina: Score the basketball! Gonzaga is winless when its opponent scores 75 points or more.

 

The Daily Blooper

In the first half against North Carolina on Sunday, Kentucky went 45% from the line. 45%!

March Madness: One reason to root against each remaining team

Fans for life, bandwagoners, and eternal haters: here is one reason to root against each team remaining in March Madness.

Florida: They win based on luck and defense in an offense-based world.

Wisconsin: Minnesota fans, listen up. BETTER DEAD THAN RED.

South Carolina: Overseeded team? Check. Got incredibly lucky against heavily favored first round opponent? Read: SMU. Somehow pulled off a win against a two seed? Check. Busted your bracket? Yeah.

Baylor: Must they win at every sport? Seriously.

Gonzaga: They had one of the easiest schedules in the nation, and they got a one seed! On top of that, their fiercest opponents in the region, Arizona and Notre Dame, got knocked out early!

Xavier: They were underseeded, plain and simple. They should have been a 5 or a 6 seed. Arizona and Maryland should not have been playing Xavier early.

Kansas: Voter fatigue! Bill Self has been winning at Kansas FOREVER.

Oregon: This team runs on one player: Tyler Dorsey. And Dorsey gets a lot of help from the refs.

North Carolina: I’m a Syracuse fan, so I will refrain from raging how they got a one seed instead of Arizona and Kentucky.

Butler: They were a four seed because they beat Villanova twice, a team that lost to Wisconsin and the referees.

UCLA: Lonzo Ball is overhyped, T.J. Leaf is a power forward that can’t dunk, and LaVar Ball needs to be kicked out of a stadium on live TV soon.

Kentucky: They win with their backcourt, and “Bam Bam” Adebayo can’t do anything but dunk and block once every five fouls.

 

 

March Madness 2017: Previewing Friday’s Games

The 2017 NCAA Tournament continues on Friday with the second part of the Sweet Sixteen.

Thursday’s scores:

Oregon 69-68 Michigan

Gonzaga 61-58 West Virginia

Kansas 98(!)-66 Purdue

Xavier 73-71 Arizona

Friday

Wisconsin vs. Florida

The Badgers pulled a massive upset over Villanova, but now they run into a very strong Florida defense that will cause them problems. Pick: Florida

Baylor vs. South Carolina

Gamecock SG Sindarius Thornwell is the breakout star of the NCAA Tournament, of that there is no question. The question for South Carolina is what will they do when he isn’t on the floor? The Gamecocks don’t have the bench to contend with Baylor for 40 minutes. Pick: Baylor

North Carolina vs. Butler

Butler is the only team to beat Villanova twice this year. However, UNC’s big men should easily win the rebounding battle on both sides of the floor. This could be a very lopsided game. Pick: UNC

UCLA vs. Kentucky

Lonzo Ball leads arguably the most high-powered attack in basketball to take on Kentucky’s star-studded backcourt. The question for the Bruins is their defense. Lonzo Ball will likely blanket Malik Monk on defense, but who will cover De’Aaron Fox? Even Wichita State’s Landry Shamet couldn’t stop him. Ball on Monk leaves Bryce Alford on Fox. Good luck. Pick: Kentucky

 

The Daily Blooper

Arizona and West Virginia lost close games in the Sweet 16 yesterday, but in TBS’s post game show, an incorrect graphic had them advancing to the Elite Eight instead of Gonzaga and Xavier!