And here we are. Four teams are left and if you said you were someone who had these teams in mind then you are full of shit. Still, it’s easy to see why South Carolina, Gonzaga, North Carolina, and Oregon.
#7 South Carolina vs #1 Gonzaga. Two games couldn’t be any more different and that’s not to say there’s no star power in this one. Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier are the headliners for the surprising Gamecocks, while the Zags are led by Nigel Williams-Goss. Both teams have big international enforcers down low, but Karnowski has the most versatility.
While guys like Duane Notice and Rakym Felder can come in and offer some instant offense, I’m not quite sold on USC being able to stick with the Bulldogs of Gonzaga if they heat up offensively. There’s just too many options from Jordan Mathews, Silas Melson, Johnathan Williams, and Josh Perkins. And that’s not mentioning the two young bigs in Killian Tillie and Zach Collins. Gonzaga 66, South Carolina 64
#1 North Carolina vs #3 Oregon. The ducks might’ve had a case for a #1 seed prior to the tournament had Chris Boucher not gotten hurt. But Jordan Bell has been even better than anyone could’ve expected filling in as a rebounder and shot blocker. The tough part for this team will still be defending Carolina’s size. The Tar Heels have waves of capable big bodies with range while the Ducks don’t have a lot of that kind of depth.
The Ducks do have depth at the guard/wing position and they will attempt to overwhelm Justin Jackson and Theo Pinson (among others). Neither team, however, will need or want to slow things down. UNC might have the advantage in the half-court, but the Ducks are the stronger defensive team and have shown to have a few more playmakers on that end of the floor. Point guard play will be crucial. North Carolina 78, Oregon 72