The surprise of the Final Four

The surprise of the Final Four

The surprise of the Final Four

In 2004, the CT men's team lost just six times in the regular season.

Nobody has had a better tournament than Thornwell, who has averaged more than 25 points the last four games. The Gonzaga Bulldogs have only lost once all year but they are in their first final four and as such will probably be underdogs in the finals against the Tar Heels.

"I thought it was smarter for us to go out Tuesday because some people's feet do swell when they go on the airplane", Williams said.

After the Lady Bears won their first three NCAA Tournament games by margins of 89, 40 and 34 points, Mississippi State forced them into 17 turnovers that led to 20 points. "You dream it every single day".

South Carolina's passion looks to be on full display come April 1 when the Gamecocks take on Gonzaga for a trip to the national championship. For everyone else, this is a breakthrough moment. Gonzaga's guards are significantly better - Williams-Goss is an All-American - but if they struggle the way they did against West Virginia, Gonzaga might be in trouble. I've been doing this a long time and that's the first time anyone has ever asked me that.

"That's one of the luckiest things in my life, that I consider coach Snyder a friend, that we stay in contact", Martin said.

"Didn't mean I did it the same way".

Along those same lines, Brooks has been Oregon's best player for two years, but Tyler Dorsey is playing as well as anyone in the country right now. "And this was a culture win and a culture statement and (I) couldn't be prouder". His scoring ability was never needed more than in their Elite 8 win over Kansas. But title favorites Duke and Villanova were dispatched in the second round, and Kansas fell short against OR in the Elite Eight.

Florida State hit the snooze button as they have done for the opening quarter every game so far this tournament and SC took advantage. Martin had coached in a regional final at Kansas State in 2010. Over his 30 years at Oregon, the Ducks win over Oregon State in the 2010 Civil War, the game that sent the Ducks to the national championship game, has always been the highlight. In my opinion, the two marquee teams are SC and Gonzaga due to their stories. OR and UNC will tip off roughly 40 minutes after the conclusion of that game. No women's team from Florida has reached the Final Four.

A little more than two years later, the two met again where UNC got their revenge in the slightly more important game.

UNFAMILIAR FOES: The semifinalists haven't met often.

The Gamecocks reached their first national semifinals the same season they reached their first Sweet 16, coming in as the seventh seed from the East.

Unlike Arizona, the Tar Heels don't have any seven-footers for the Ducks to worry about, but have a size advantage at every position in the starting lineup except point guard.

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN: The Southeastern Conference fell short in its bid for multiple Final Four teams after getting three to the Elite Eight. But what he took away from that was hos disappointed SC players were at the defeat and how much they wanted to work to turn things around.

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