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This stuff never gets old. We took some contested ones.

It seemed only appropriate that Paul McCartney was in the house on Saturday as the Florida Gators tearfully trudged off the court after being eliminated by the South Carolina Gamecocks just two days after their euphoric celebration following a delirious overtime victory over Wisconsin.

"I want to credit the teams in our league in the SEC for preparing us for the kind of games that you have to play at this time of year", SC coach Frank Martin said in his opening comments after a 70-50 rout of Baylor. "They went to the final game past year. You dream it every single day".

What if South Carolina's Duane Notice had been whistled for travelling as he should have been after catching a risky length-of-the-floor pass in the final minute of a two-point game?

Florida's magical season ended as SC overcame a seven-point halftime deficit behind 26 points from NCAA East regional MVP Thornwell, leading the Gamecocks to a 77-70 victory and advancing the program to their first Final Four. He joked he had stories too amusing to tell about Martin. Gonzaga and OR are both clad from head-to-toe in the Swoosh, while North Carolina wears Jordan Brand, which is owned and operated by Nike Inc. It all depends on how you look at it.

Who had SC winning the East?

So, Gonzaga has had the easiest potential path, in terms of seeds faced, since ...

Should we go with co-favorites? Then you have rebound abilities from stand-out players like Jordan Bell and Dillon Brooks, 21. The Gators were trying for their sixth Final Four appearance and that includes the titles in 2006 and 2007.

Nigel Williams-Goss is a stud along the perimeter, and Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins are monster 7-footers inside. Oregon's Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks.

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When Vegas put up odds going into the Sweet 16, no players from the East Regional were even in the top 12 listed for most outstanding player of the whole NCAA tournament.

"They're the best in the country in terms of pressuring you and making you turn it over", Florida coach Mike White said later.

Meanwhile, junior Kristy Wallace continued to play her game - making the hustle plays that no one else makes to give her team just one more possession. The two met in one of the best games of the regular season, with the Wildcats defeating the Tar Heels 103-100. It'll certainly be the more-hyped game, and it probably should be.

The Gamecocks held Florida to 41.7 percent shooting from the field, as it made only 11 shots in the second half.

The outlier in the Final Four is Under Armour, which represents the Gamecocks. After a missed free throw, Malik Monk drained a three to tie the game, but UNC had an unlikely hero in Luke Maye, who knocked down a jumper with.3 seconds on the clock to secure the victory, 75-73.

No team from the state of SC has seen that Promised Land. He already has 15 offensive rebounds in the tournament, 12 of which came in the nail-biters against Arkansas and Kentucky.

After the No. 1 seeds, there's a big drop off. And Northwestern played like it throughout the first half, digging itself into a giant hole.

North Carolina vs. Oregon, Saturday, approx. They won the West Coast Conference tournament before going through South Dakota State, Northwestern, West Virginia and Xavier in the NCAA Men's Division I basketball tournament.


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