Madness in March: The Final Four

By Kate Liming
Mar. 28, 2017

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Preview

The last few weeks in the month of March have been nothing but pure upsets, surprises, and chaos. Only 657 out of 18,797,085 brackets predicted the final four correctly, which means it's time to breakdown and analyze the teams headed to Glendale, Ariz. for the Final Four on Saturday, Apr. 1, 2017.

#1 Gonzaga (36-1, 17-1) vs. #7 South Carolina (26-10, 12-6)

Both the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks have made it to the Final Four for the first time in their basketball program history, but the Gamecocks had also made it to the Elite Eight for the first time in the program's history. It is no doubt that the Bulldogs have had a season to remember because the team was the underdog for so many years, but they have finally made it. The Gamecocks stunned basketball analysts and basketball college fans by winning over powerhouses like Duke, Baylor and Florida this March Madness tournament. However, Gonzaga is a much stronger team on both ends of the court, especially on the defensive end. Center Przemek Karnowski of Gonzaga is the biggest man on the team, having a total of 36 blocks and 17 steals this season.

#1 UNC (31-7, 14-4) vs. #3 Oregon (33-5, 16-2)

The UNC Tar Heels are a team that most likely everyone chose to advance to the Final Four from the beginning of making brackets. Justin Jackson, the 6'8" junior, has averaged 18.2-points and 4.7 rebounds this season, dunking like nobody's business. Luke Maye is the one who saved UNC in their game against Kentucky, knocking down a jump-shot to win, 75-73. Oregon hasn't been to the Final Four and hasn't won a championship since 1939 when they beat Ohio St, 44-39. Junior Dillon Brooks of the Oregon Ducks won the 2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year and has been the strong force for the Ducks this season, making big plays and game-winning shots. Sophomore Tyler Dorsey is another key player for the Ducks' success this season, averaging 14.5-points and 3.4 rebounds a game and has made 57.6 percent of his three-point attempts since the Pac-12 tournament started.

My Picks

#1 UNC vs. #1 Gonzaga

UNC has been a team with consistency in all areas of the floor. Year after year the Tar Heels have been a threat due to the success that head coach Roy Williams has had with the rich basketball tradition at UNC. However, one could have said the same thing last year when UNC played Villanova in the final and lost by a buzzer-beater. Gonzaga has a strong defense to hold down UNC, but I think UNC will be Gonzaga's biggest challenge of the season especially with their fast transition. I'm picking UNC to beat Gonzaga, 76-69.

Game Times

Gonzaga vs. South Carolina

3:09pm on CBS

UNC vs. Oregon

5:49pm on CBS