Florida falls short for Final Four, but finds hope in White

But we went farther than anybody outside the team thought. "They believe in each other and they put up with me".

Each team brings the best player from its conference. "Our chemistry and bond is unbreakable". "Now you're on the losing end and your season is over". SC held Baylor to just 30.4% (17-56) from the field, while the Gamecocks connected on 23-of-50 (46.0%) attempts, including eight 3-point field goals in the win. He was 3-for-14 and had 10 points against Gonzaga. Justin Leon led the way for the Gators with 13 points as he knocked down 3-of-5 from behind the arc.

But Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice answered with 3-pointers to stretch South Carolina's lead to 55-38 midway through the second half. There were a total of 35 teams with at least a 0.1 percent chance and less than a 10 percent chance to make the Final Four, and BPI expected an average of 0.7 of those teams to make it, meaning it was more likely than not that one of these 35 teams would win four games and get to play in the final weekend of the NCAA tournament. "There's no such thing as not being nervous for a big game", South Carolina's Frank Martin said Monday during a teleconference with reporters.

"I'm happy for him", Haslem said Sunday night. Now it has three teams in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1986 when Auburn, LSU and Kentucky made it. The second of those losses to Vandy came in their SEC tournament opener. Forcing 29 turnovers, West Virginia laid an 89-68 blowout on the Bears on January 10 in Morgantown. The Bulldogs will face No. 7 seed SC, which is also making its Final Four debut with a coach doing the same: Frank Martin, 51.

Martin was an assistant under Huggins at Kansas State in 2006-07 before Huggins moved to his alma mater, West Virginia.

Three coaches, Mark Few (Gonzaga), Dana Altman (Oregon) and Frank Martin (South Carolina) will be making their Final Four debuts.

"Just unbelievably, just a surreal moment", Martin said. "We're still going into that (Final Four) game thinking we can win. Every time we got a catch, there was somebody right there".

Gonzaga advanced to the Final Four following a dominant performance over Xavier on Saturday evening. The Gamecocks' defense will keep them in the game.

After first-round losses to Georgia State and Yale in the previous two NCAA tournaments, the Bears were only picked fifth in the Big 12 preseason poll.

"What they do is a great job of making it difficult and then basketball's such a game of momentum and after you get off to a bad start, sometimes it's hard to get in a rhythm or hard to get in a flow", Baylor coach Scott Drew said.

At the time, his decision to take over the Gamecocks' basketball program seemed curious because of the school's lack of basketball history and recent struggles in a very competitive Southeastern Conference.

Pac-12 player of the year versus the ACC player of the year.

Williams, 66, has guided the Tar Heels to consecutive Final Fours after taking them to the title game a season ago where they lost to Villanova. "That's something this team will always have". Now they're just two wins away from cutting down the nets. "And more important than that, they have been all we can ask for as far as individuals and the character in which they have represented themselves and our school".

  • Julie Sanders