North Carolina Squeaks By Oregon 77-76 To Return To Title Game

A blown double-digit lead, foul trouble for the big men, video review after video review. Second, it didn't come without one more run for the ages that summed up this wonderful SC run one last time.

The last team to win a national title in their first appearance in the game was UConn back in 1999. "For example, when we were fund raising for the budget we did it over two fiscal years so that made it easier for companies to spread out the gifts they were giving us and deal with things earlier when there were hiccups".

The Bulldogs' 7-footers, senior Przemek Karnowski and freshman Zach Collins, took care of things on both ends of the court, combining for 18 rebounds.

"That's my job is to go in and rim protect", said Collins, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds.

"Sad, but I actually think we played a good game".

"You have 37 wins in a college season, I mean that's just unbelievable", said Williams-Goss, who scored a game-high 23 points.

"To be playing the last game of the year is insane cool", Few said. Twice they had the chance to tie: Rakym Felder missed a field goal down two with just over a minute and a half remaining, and Sindarius Thornwell was fouled before a shot with three seconds left, trailing by three. The Bulldogs beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 77-73 in Phoenix Saturday in the Final Four. Thornwell made the first free throw and missed the second deliberately, but the ball landed in the Bulldogs' hands.

The Bulldogs survived a second-half collapse which saw them blow a 14-point lead before they regathered their composure to hold on with two late free-throws in a see-saw Final Four duel.

"He walked the walk", Williams-Goss said. Instead, Thornwell paused just long enough for Gonzaga to safely foul him without giving up three shots. The second part is you've got to get the rebound, and that's what's been hard for us at times. He was one of four Gamecocks that finished in double figures.

"The plan was to miss it left and hopefully Chris could tap it out to somebody".

The Bulldogs held off a furious rally as SC used a 16-0 run to overcome a 14-point deficit.

"They were making comments that we were the most nervous team in the tournament", Williams-Goss said of the team's critics. Ducks' season over after falling a game short of returning to the title game for the first time since 1939, the first NCAA Tournament.

Over the course of 40 minutes, SC would learn why.

The 3-pointer freshman Zach Collins hit with 6:42 left was not the most handsome; it caught the flange, deadened and fell into the goal.

"It wasn't self-inflicted wounds", is how South Carolina Coach Frank Martin Jr. described his team's struggles. The seventh-seeded Gamecocks scored 5 straight to get within 74-72 with just over 2 minutes left. "We said we're brothers and we stick together and it shows". "By the time we were going out from the halftime, it started feeling a little bit better". He finished 11 for 13 to match his career high with 25 points. "They forced me to pass it out of my drives". I couldn't really open it. "In my head, I just said I have no choice", Collins said of his pregame boast.

  • Julie Sanders