March Madness Update: Final Four set for Saturday

North Carolina defeated Kentucky in the Elite 8 to advance into the Final Four / USA Today

This year’s March Madness tournament has not failed to bring the “madness”. After some crazy upsets (Wisconsin over Villanova, South Carolina over Duke, Xavier over Florida St.) and some major blowouts (Xavier over Florida St., Kansas over Purdue, North Carolina over Texas Southern), the original 64 teams have been cut down to four.

Only two number one seeds remain — North Carolina and Gonzaga. They’ll take on the number three seeded Oregon and number seven seeded South Carolina respectively.

South Carolina has had quite the tournament as their road to the Final Four has not been easy. As previously mentioned, they took down the number two seeded Duke by a score of 88-81. Duke was a heavily favoured team to win the tournament, so the win was nothing short of impressive.

Their matchup with Gonzaga, however, will be their biggest test so far. Gonzaga blew out the Cinderella storied Xavier in the Elite 8 by a score of 83-59.

Gonzaga has lost only one game in the entire NCAA basketball season, as they finished their regular season 36-1 before winning their first four March Madness games

This incredible journey by Gonzaga makes it no surprise that they currently have the best odds to win the tournament at 3/2. After that, North Carolina has 7/5 odds, Oregon has 9/2 odds and South Carolina has 15/2 odds.

As for Oregon, Canadian Dillon Brooks has had a great tournament so far, including a 17 point performance in his team’s win over the number one seeded Kansas in the Elite 8. The forward is expected to be drafted somewhere in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft, so another strong performance against North Carolina could increase his value for some NBA teams.

North Carolina’s game against Kentucky in the Elite 8 was one of the most exciting games (falling short of the Florida and Wisconsin drama) of the tournament so far, as Luke Maye hit a jump shot to take a two point lead with one second left in the game. Kentucky was unable to do anything with the time that remained, so North Carolina walked away with the 75-73 win.

If both North Carolina and South Carolina can move onto the finals, it will sure make for an exciting finals. The two schools are only a three hour drive away from each other, so the game would be a big rivalry.

No matter the outcome of the Final Four, the April 3 championship game will be a great game if it is anything close to what the tournament has been so far.

 

The Final Four matchups on April 1 are as follows:

 

South Carolina v. Gonzaga —  6:09 p.m.

Oregon v. North Carolina —  8:39 p.m.

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