^ North Carolina coach Roy Williams is making his ninth Final Four appearance. Gonzaga is a 6.5-point favorite over upstart SC in the first game.
Mississippi State guard Morgan William (2) is hugged by CT head coach Geno Auriemma, center, after their NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the women's Final Four, Friday, March 31, 2017, in Dallas.
The Gamecocks advance to their first-ever championship game after surviving a terrible second quarter, as SC missed seven consecutive shots and watched a two-point lead turn into a 29-20 deficit by halftime.
Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski shoots over Josh Perkins during a practice session for their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Friday, March 31, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.
Coach Frank Martin echoed Thornwell's sentiments, saying Thornwell told him he felt like he was letting his team down by not practicing Thursday.
So, here's where I risk looking stupid by doubting SC once again. Why? It kind of disappeared on us there the last month of the season.
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Gonzaga is 36-1 and advanced by winning in just about every way imaginable.
"It was no secret that we were coming in here to do something as a collective unit", Williams-Goss said. He was also the SEC player of the year. The Zags had a little camping trip in September and left coach Few questioning his team's toughness after a few days in the wilderness. "And then just the intensity, the physicality, the athleticism that they bring on the glass is a real concern". "At first, it is hard to get used to". He can hurt you off the bounce. "It's pretty weird, but once we started getting shots up you realize the free-throw line is the same length away as it is at Gonzaga. Yeah, he's definitely going to be a handful".
Guard Duane Notice is the defensive focal point for seventh-seeded SC.
North Carolina has been there, done that with college basketball's final weekend, reaching the title game previous year. The 6-foot guard returned in the second half - with a limp - and played limited minutes. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a underdog of 7.5 points or less. Karnowski averages 12.2 points in a balanced scoring effort.
SC counters with Maik Kotsar and Chris Silva. It was surprising to me how poorly Honduras played in this game, but it's exactly what the United States needed. A championship would be a great way to end his time on the cheer team but like the basketball team they're taking it one game at a time. "We had to figure them out and create, get easy buckets and get into transition", Staley said. How can a small Jesuit school in the lovely town of Spokane, Wash., have gotten this good and stayed this good for this long?
But this time, just focus on one number: 85.8.