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March Madness: Final Four

Milky Doolittle, Staff Writer

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Have you realized that while the NCAA tournament starts in March, the tournament actually ends in April? Fun fact for y’all.

As March is coming to an end, so too is the yearly 64 team NCAA basketball tournament. We have seen many blowouts, big upsets, and down-to-the wire games where a single shot decided the fate for a team and their season. From this intense battle zone, four teams have emerged and have proven to us that their are the most elite teams in the NCAA. Some of these teams were expected to make it this far while other big named teams failed to live up to the hype and were conquered earlier on in the tournament.

One thing for sure, though, is that South Carolina absolutely ruined this tournament and all brackets. Never would I have ever guessed that a 7th seeded team would beat #4 Florida Gators, #3 Baylor Bears, and #2 Duke Blue Devils. While the Gamecocks deserved to move forward to the Elite 8 after blowing out Baylor 70-50, I feel like luck is very much on the side of the Gamecocks. They were down against the Blue Devils and the Gators, but used their defence and intense physicality to rally back and secure the dub. Congrats to all Gamecock fans, though, since this is the first time that they are in the Final Four.

The Gamecocks are up against the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Bulldogs, being the number one seed, have played lower seeded teams and have relatively breezed past all their competition. Their closest game was against the #4 West Virginia Mountaineers with the final score being 61-58. While the Gamecocks have been having a great postseason, they are going to have to overcome the nigh-impossible. ESPN is giving the Bulldogs an 88% to win.

The other game is between the #1 North Carolina Tar Heels and the #3 Oregon Ducks. Personally, I am not a fan of either of the teams so I don’t really care who wins, but since they are in the Final Four, they get to be talked about as well. UNC advanced to the Final Four after narrowly winning against #2 Kentucky Wildcats with Luke Maye scoring the game-winning shot with 0.3 seconds remaining. The Ducks are going to have a difficult time winning this game since they lost Chris Boucher in the beginning of the postseason, but have been showing that they are still dangerous after blowing out fan-favorites #1 Kansas Jayhawks in the Elite Eight. This has been the first time Oregon has gone to the Final Four since 1939.

While I don’t care about any of the remaining teams playing in the tournament, I can promise you that the final 3 games will not disappoint. These teams have proven that they are the best, and I am certain that none of the teams will fall without a good fight. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more buzzer-beaters, but I am adamant about Gonzaga destroying the Gamecocks. I hate big upsets, so I want to see South Carolina get blasted haha.

 

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March Madness: Final Four