NCAA Final Four preview: Sizing up South Carolina-Gonzaga and Oregon-UNC

NCAA Final Four preview: Sizing up South Carolina-Gonzaga and Oregon-UNC

"He doesn't need to be on the practice court to understand what we're doing".

Via SportsLine, each team is averaging right around 15 3s per game in the NCAA Tournament.

The Golden State Warriors are in their third season at the top of the National Basketball Association, employing lineups with four and sometimes five perimeter players.

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Plenty of other schools have enjoyed the one-year injection thanks to sports fame since - after Ali Farokhmanesh hit a 3-pointer to beat Kansas, Northern Iowa saw a 30-percent increase in admission calls and almost quadrupled its page views online; after its 2010 Final Four run, Butler's applications rose 40 percent. The two-seed Kentucky played 3-seed UCLA in a fast-paced game.

His teammates, Woody Coley, John Cohen, and John Kuester say it takes a special group of young men to make it as far as the Final Four.

"You could see how much he cared", said Estonia native Maik Kotsar, the 6-foot-10 freshman who scored 12 points in South Carolina's 77-70 victory over Florida on Sunday to reach the Final Four. Seven-foot-one, 300-pound Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski stifled opponents with his size.

SC fans don't want it to end either.

Before this season, Williams appeared in eight Final Fours, four with Kansas and four with North Carolina.

The mind behind that defense, head coach Frank Martin, has officially become mainstream famous this week. When he was let go, and it was right before signing day, the media and numerous boosters were solidly in his corner.

"The secret sauce to me is the chemistry and camaraderie", said Coley. No more than 73, either team.

Martin "did a great job of coming in and sealing the deal", Priester added.

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His is a workmanlike approach that would look right at home alongside big men of generations past like Xavier McDaniel. The Tar Heels won easily in the Maui Invitational semifinals, with Danny Green scoring 21 points. It's incredible for USC to have two teams in the Final Four.

Coach Dawn Staley recently talked about what it means to be in the Final Four for the second time in three years. "They've been in physical games". The Bulldogs' remarkable consistency gets the benchmark victory needed to validate a top-tier college basketball program. "That's something that's been important for us ever since I started coaching, and I still believe that".

"All of our friends from North Carolina are texting us and asking who we're rooting for and saying, 'You better answer correctly, '?" Meeks' physicality under the basket helped neutralize Bam Adebayo, while also drawing fouls early against Derek Willis.

No matter the outcome on Saturday, Zag fans will be witnessing history as GU takes to college basketball's biggest stage.

Bell provides the Ducks uncanny flexibility on the defensive end with his ability to guard multiple positions.

After gutting out close wins against Rhode Island and MI in the closing minutes of those matchups, many saw the best-case scenario for No. 3 OR last Saturday as another nail-biter against the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks.

At times, the Zags were so close, but the ugly reality of why the tournament is known as March Madness would rear its head. Also, the emergence of Dorsey as a deadly scorer has electrified Oregon's offense. Kids are players, man. "Bell changed that game".

Look for him to continue the scoring spree, which will lead to him scoring 30 or more points and SC knocking off Gonzaga. If they double-team him in the post, he can kick it out and they have good shooters.

The Gamecocks won just 28 games in Martin's first two seasons.

The Bulldogs have only lost one game all season - one!

SC doesn't offer a whole lot offensively outside of Sindarius Thornwell. Long, athletic, shoots inside and out, causes nightmares for opposing coaches trying to figure out how to stop him.