It’s time folks! Through elation and heartbreak, blowouts and buzzer beaters, 68 teams have dwindled to just 4.
Oregon, North Carolina, South Carolina and Gonzaga have all gone the distance, but only one of these programs can take home the national championship. The Final Four officially kicks off Saturday in Phoenix:
Final Four tip times!
South Carolina-Gonzaga, 6:09pm ET
UNC-Oregon, 40 minutes after first game ends
— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) March 26, 2017
Here’s a recap of each school’s tournament journey thus far and a preview of the epic matchups scheduled for Saturday.
The Ducks have been in a groove all tournament, the highlight of which was taking down No. 1 Kansas in 74-60 rout in the Elite Eight. The rhythm of the third-seeded Oregon’s play is largely thanks to the cohesion of the balance of their team, which boasts five players averaging over 10.7 points per game this season. Check out Dillon Brooks’ reaction to the massive stadium in Phoenix.
— GoDucks (@GoDucks) March 31, 2017
This is literally the biggest stage Oregon has played on all season, so good thing it doesn’t look like the Ducks’ roll is slowing anytime soon.
2. North Carolina
The Tar Heels have proved time and again why their one of the favorites to win it all this season. As the juggernaut of this year’s Final Four, UNC will be tough for any of its three counterparts to take down. After pulling off a 75-73, come-from-behind victory that was the best game of the tournament thus far, Roy Williams’ squad is firing on all cylinders. Just check out the energy in the locker room after the electric win!
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) March 27, 2017
UNC is playing with a chip on their shoulder and a modest confidence that has them poised to make a convincing run for the national title.
3. South Carolina
What’s the March Madness without a good Cinderella Story? No. 7 seed South Carolina has been the surprise of the tournament, notching their first trip to the Final Four in school history. The Gamecocks have won upset after upset, taking down Duke, Baylor and Florida along their miraculous tournament run.
FINAL FOUR BOUND!!!! pic.twitter.com/uAyAXQkEci
— Gamecock MBB (@GamecockMBB) March 26, 2017
That’s the energy and passion that Gonzaga will have to deal with Saturday and it will not be easy to overcome. The Gamecocks are a one of a kind team on the verge of doing something very special. Keep an eye out for them in the Final Four.
Thanks to a ridiculous 29-game winning streak during the regular season, the bar has been set at the highest level for the Bulldogs. The team has lived up to every expectation so far, but these two games will be the true test. Despite their dominance all season, the Bulldogs still have their critics. That’s not stifling the team’s hype in the slightest though:
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) March 26, 2017
Gonzaga is looking to prove all the naysayers wrong. The Bulldogs’ real test starts Saturday at 6:09 p.m.
Who’s it going to be cutting down the nets when all is said and done?
I’ve got my money on North Carolina and my man Joel Berry II, but I’m tuning in Saturday to find out just like everyone else reading this should.
There you have it! Four teams. Three games to play. One champion will emerge. Let us know who you have winning the championship!