Pick the Final Four's best player, coach and national champion

South Carolina's offense relies on points in the paint and getting to the free throw line to be productive. OR is down a big guy. And according to my calculations my Tar Heel blue brethren win that point with no argument! Averaging 25.8 points in the tourney, Thornwell has helped the Gamecocks rally from three halftime deficits in their run to the Final Four. "Everyone's nervous", the coach said.

Senior Caitlyn Ellis from Greensboro says everyone on the team is honored and excited to be part of the Final Four experience. This underdog has taken down three heavyweights already and is now only one win away from a National Championship game berth.

It should be a great weekend and to get you ready, we've got the teams, players, coaches and matchups to keep an eye on at University of Phoenix Stadium. It took a dozen roses to get a second date. "The biggest way to get their big guys in foul trouble is to go inside". That just made me dizzy! UConn accomplished the feat three times, winning both championships in 2004 and 2014.

OR (33-5) vs. The Ducks squandered an opportunity to play North Carolina after a string of mediocre performances at the Maui Invitational back in November. The Ducks do it more through athleticism and effort, especially after losing shot-blocking stretch-forward Chris Boucher to a torn ACL in the Pac-12 tournament.

No. 7 SC advanced to the Final Four with a dark horse run at this year's tournament, highlighted by a stunning 88-81 round of 32 victory over the national championship favourites, the Duke Blue Devils, as 6.5-point underdogs.

Bell had 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks in a 74-60 takedown of overall No. 1 seed Kansas in an Elite Eight game in Kansas City, Mo. Gonzaga averages 6,000 fans per game and OR 7,500, indicating less than intense fan support in the Northwest for basketball. He's utilized his outside shot limitedly but might pose a threat (he posted a mark of 45 percent on 20 3-point shots) and was a terrific rebounder too. The ACC player of the year has been proving to everyone watching that he is the real deal. Regardless of who plays Monday, we're in for a good one. "We just want to prove ourselves right, that we want to be the last team standing", Ennis said, as reported by NCAA. "But we will have our work cut out for us on Saturday". Luke Maye joined the clutch club this year with a jumper with 0.3 seconds to beat Kentucky to get the Tar Heels back to the Final Four. Some shots have gone down, while other shots ended in disappointing misses. In other words, it's a pretty good time to be a Gamecock.

The Tar Heels have been led all season by All-America wing Justin Jackson, who is averaging 18.2 points per game and shooting 38 percent from 3-point range (101 of 266).

Thornwell is the reigning SEC Player of the Year, averaging 21.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

North Carolina pulled off a last second win against Kentucky last Sunday, coming out on top at 75-73.

Maye headlines a group of players that could emerge as X-factors in determining whether UNC, Gonzaga, Oregon or SC wins the national championship.

  • Larry Hoffman