Making the case for South Carolina at the Final Four

Final Four winners, 6 p.m. Monday, April 3, 2017. It was becoming a young man's game.

On Wednesday night Jimmy Fallon unleashed the cuteness, with eight puppies released from backstage as they raced toward the bowl of their choice with each Final Four team name listed on four separate dishes.

Airline tickets to the Final Four in Phoenix were more going for more than $1,000 before they sold out.

At the other end of the spectrum, between 2011 and 2017 there have been seven coaches over the age of retirement.

Alex English has watched Sindarius Thornwell lead SC to its first-ever Final Four from up close.

Kentucky isn't in the Final Four this year. OR is here for the first time since winning its only title in 1939, while Gonzaga and SC are making their first ventures this deep into March Madness.

We talk about it in the video above.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III and Gonzaga coach Mark Few have won The Associated Press player and coach of the year awards.

Q: Is there a challenge Gonzaga presents that SC hasn't seen, yet? Williams calls it his 'biggest basketball regret.' But like all former Tar Heels, when one Carolina team makes the Final Four, in a way, the entire Carolina family makes the Final Four.

The Ducks are 38-16 ATS in their last 54 games as an underdog, 10-3 ATS in their last 13 Saturday games and 17-7-1 ATS in their last 25 games overall. Against West Virginia in the semifinals, he played super defense on the final possession, preventing the game-tying three-point. Game day will be full of excitement as the cheerleaders perform at the team's send off and, we hope, to a Carolina victory!

North Carolina, which was the top seed in the South, is in the Final Four for the second consecutive season, having lost in the 2016 final when Villanova's Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

"I really think they match up well with anybody because we have a 6'6" point guard (PJ Dozier) with Sindarius Thornwell on the wing", Shell said.

Unlike his dad and older brother, the younger Corchiani is a shooting guard rather than a point guard. "We're playing Gonzaga. So we have to focus on doing what we have to do to figure out a way to win that game".

"I just had some type of feeling to pick Oregon", Sasha said. I felt like I had to get those six games back. "He's a two-guard. He can play two, three and we even use him at the four sometimes". The Tar Heels are on a revenge tour of sorts after last year's loss in the championship game at the buzzer and the Ducks have been flying under the radar since the loss of their 3rd-leading scorer Chris Boucher to a torn ACL in the PAC-12 Tournament. Meanwhile, UNC and OR have played four times, with the Tar Heels winning all four - the last coming in the 2008 Maui Invitational.

Gonzaga, which has allowed 60.9 points per game, has kept three of its four opponents under 60 points in the NCAA Tournament, while South Carolina's scrambling zone has kept its opponents off balance and out of sync.

  • Julie Sanders