Final Four Preview
Cinderella continued to dance in a wild Elite Eight weekend. The weekend started on Saturday night when Gonzaga took down Xavier 83-59 in a mainly one-sided matchup. The big shocker of the night was three-seed Oregon, led by tournament star Tyler Dorsey, who took down one-seed Kansas 74-60. Sunday featured arguably the two best games of the weekend. South Carolina continued their improbable Cinderella Story run, taking down four seed Florida to advance to their first ever Final Four. Before the big dance this year, South Carolina had never even won a tournament game in their basketball history. The game to round out the weekend was UNC vs Kentucky, potentially one of the most hyped-up games of the tournament, and it lived up to its expectations. UNC took down Kentucky 75-73 after a Luke Maye buzzer-beating shot.
Looking ahead to the upcoming weekend, one-seed Gonzaga will move onto its first ever Final Four appearance, and they will take on the dangerous seven-seed South Carolina, who compiled a list of impressive defeats of opponents that consist of Marquette, Duke, Baylor, and Florida. South Carolina clearly has the hot hand in the tournament right now, so this will not be an easy game for the Zags. A one-seed vs. a Cinderella Story team should spell out a great game that will be hyped up all over the South. The next game on Saturday is UNC vs. Oregon, with the Ducks riding high after a monumental win over Kansas. Oregon will face a tough and determined Carolina team that is hungry to get another chance to win the title. After last season’s heartbreaking loss in the National Championship, UNC will look to redeem themselves, and only two more games stand in the way of redemption. UNC entered the tournament as one of the clear favorites to win it all after posting a 31-7 overall record that earned them the top spot in the South region.
The Final Four weekend should include two great games of huge proportions leading up to the Championship game Monday night. This Saturday, the Gonzaga-South Carolina game will begin at 6:09 pm where I expect Frank Martin and the Gamecocks to continue their reign of dominance in the tournament 78-69 over the Bulldogs. The second game of the day will be UNC vs. Oregon beginning at 8:49pm. I believe this is truly UNC’s season, and they will continue to their second consecutive National Championship game after an 80-75 win over the Oregon Ducks to setup a huge South vs. North battle of the Carolinas. The final weekend of college basketball should provide us with some great games to watch.